AAP has the edge in Muslim neighbourhoods

Posters and banners of the AAP and its leaders were festooned across electric poles, bus stops and buildings while young boys and men walked around with the trademark AAP Gandhi caps in many of the Muslim dominated areas on polling day Saturday - indicating a clear advantage for the two-year-old party in minority areas.

IANS| Updated: Feb 07, 2015, 23:09 PM IST

New Delhi: Posters and banners of the AAP and its leaders were festooned across electric poles, bus stops and buildings while young boys and men walked around with the trademark AAP Gandhi caps in many of the Muslim dominated areas on polling day Saturday - indicating a clear advantage for the two-year-old party in minority areas.

Of all the Muslim majority areas in the walled city as well as Okhla and Jamia Nagar in south Delhi - considered to be traditional Congress vote banks - most of the residents said they had voted for the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP).

"Last time I voted for Congress but this time around I have chosen AAP because its in a better position to from the government," Abdul Nazir, 26-year-old shopkeeper

in Okhla told IANS.

This views was shared by a majority of Muslims all over the city, who said they had ditched the Congress for the AAP.

Mohammed Aqeel, a software engineer residing in Jamia Nagar in south Delhi said: "Traditional Congress voters like me have switched their allegiance to the AAP because it is the stronger party at the moment and will give a tough fight to the BJP."

Enthusiastic AAP supporters wearing caps were sitting outside every polling booth and requesting people to cast their votes for their party.

"Push the first button on the machine," urged the AAP supporters to people who were arriving at the booths in Jamia Nagar.

The election commission had allotted the first slot on the electronic voting machine (EVM) to the Aam Aadmi Party.

"It was the Muslims of the city who had in the last assembly election gave Congress a much-needed face-saver as of the eight seats it won, five were from the

minority-dominated areas, but this time many voted for AAP," said Mustafa Karim, a businessman of Chandni Chowk.

In fact, according to Todays Chanakya, a political research organisation, 71 percent of the Muslims in Delhi have voted for AAP.

Some Congress supporters were still confident about winning of their party despite believing that AAP might get a majority in the capital.

"Jamia has an intellectual class people and they know who will work for them. Some youngsters are with AAP but Congress will grab the Okhla seat. Congress is strong in Okhla constituency and BJP has become irrelevant here. We have a strong organization in our district. The results will prove that," said Mohammed Nizamuddin, an employee of Jamia Millia Islamia.

Residents of south Delhi's Batla House, Jamia Nagar, Shaheen Bagh and Abul Fazal Enclave were upset with both the BJP and the Congress.

"The BJP has already declared us terrorists and the Congress has done nothing for us," said Tanveer Ahmad, a resident and owner of a small eatery.

Nadeem, who owns a small shop in the area Jamia, said: "The Congress MLA from Okhla, Asif Mohammed, had used the terror issue to his advantage in the 2008 assembly

election which he won on an RJD ticket.

"We were in a dilemma. Out of fear of the BJP and unsure of AAP's success, we all voted for Congress in the 2013 election. But, this time we voted for AAP," he

said.

However, Muslims residing in northeast Delhi fear that in case of vote division, their ballots will go waste.

"We will be relevant only if our consolidated vote goes to either Congress or AAP. Otherwise, BJP will win," said Nasiruddin of New Seemapuri, where AAP gained in

the last assembly election.