Although, Muslims in Delhi have traditionally voted for Congress, a shift in their votes to AAP had emerged in 2015 itself. This time around, however, the community’s support to AAP seems to be more absolute.
365体育官网The Arvind Kejriwal-led Aam Aadmi Party on February 11 swept Delhi, winning 62 of the total 70 Assembly seats.
The BJP, which had campaigned vociferously in the run-up to the polls, came a distant second, winning eight seats, marginally upping their seat tally from three in the 2015 Assembly elections.
The Congress, however, was decimated, with zero seats and a record low vote share of 4.26 percent, lower than their 2015 vote share of 9.7 percent. The Grand Old Party is even believed to have lost its deposit in 63 of the 66 seats they fought from.
What the Congress has also lost in the process is a loyal vote bank – the Muslim community.
The run-up to the Delhi election was riddled with aggressive protests against the contentious Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) with sporadic protests across the capital city, and a consistent one, now running into almost 60 days, at Shaheen Bagh.
In fact, Shaheen Bagh, a Muslim-dominated area in southeast Delhi, was at the centre of anti-CAA protests. The BJP had also tried to make it a central poll plank, throwing various baits at Kejriwal to draw him into the debate. However, the Delhi chief minister maintained a safe distance from the protest, commenting on the issue only when asked about it, and in a rather diplomatic way.
365体育官网On the other hand, BJP leaders passed controversial remarks at Shaheen Bagh and overall anti-CAA protesters, referring to the poll battle in Delhi as one between “India and Pakistan”.
365体育官网The Delhi election results have suggested the emergence of a different narrative.
For instance, AAP candidate Amanatullah Khan won from the Okhla constituency, which houses Shaheen Bagh as well as Jamia Nagar, which saw strong anti-CAA protests. Not only this, Khan recorded the second biggest win in these elections, beating BJP candidate Braham Singh by over 71,000 votes.
Meanwhile, Congress candidate Parvez Hashmi got only 5,107 votes, significantly less as compared to approximately 20,000 votes won by then Congress candidate Asif Mohd Khan in 2015. This is despite the party taking a firm stance against the Citizenship Act, coupled with a proposed NRC (National Register of Citizens) exercise. The Grand Old Party had even promised a resolution against CAA as well as abandoning NRC and NPR (National Population Register) in its current form, in their poll manifesto.
A similar trend was evident in other Muslim-dominated constituencies too, some of which saw hostile protests against the Citizenship Act. These include Seelampur, Matia Mahal and Chandni Chowk.
Seelampur, which saw people taking to streets to protest, followed by Delhi Police shelling tear gas to disperse the crowd, also saw AAP candidate Abdul Rehman winning with a comfortable margin of about 37,000 votes. Congress candidate and senior leader Chaudhary Mateen Ahmed was pushed to the third place.
Chandni Chowk, which houses the Jamia Masjid, again an epicentre of peaceful demonstrations against CAA, as well as Daryaganj, where protests took a violent turn and vehicles were set ablaze, had a similar story to tell. AAP candidate Parlad Singh Sawhney won with a margin of close to 30,000 votes, while Congress key candidate Alka Lamba was a distant third with 3,800 votes.
Other Muslim-dominated areas like Matia Mahal and Ballimaran also saw AAP candidates win by a handsome margin.Although, Muslims in Delhi have traditionally voted for Congress, a shift in their votes to AAP had emerged in 2015 itself. This time around, however, the community’s support to AAP seems to be more absolute.
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