New Delhi: Nargis Khatoon, 60, vividly remembers the day when the BJP cadres used "filthy" language to address her. It was that very moment she decided to vote for the AAP to keep "communal and caste-based" politics at bay in her Trilokpuri area that is still struggling to overcome the scars of the communal violence that broke out during Diwali last year.
"During campaigning, a BJP supporter used such abusive words to address me that I feel ashamed to tell you. He was not the only person, other BJP workers too were referring to the Muslim community in the worst-possible language," a tearful Khatoon told IANS.
Trilokpuri in east Delhi witnessed a clash between two groups of Hindus and Muslims during Diwali that went on for four days. The violence left 70 injured, including 56 policemen.
The violence was a harsh reminder for the Sikh community, who had witnessed the 1984 riots in the same area, almost exactly 30 years ago.
And it was these unhealed scars that brought the community together to vote for the Aam Aadmi Party, with the hope to have a government that would work for the betterment of the people, without judging them on the basis of caste and community.
"The attitude of the BJP was such that if by chance they would have won from here, no body could have prevented another communal riots taking place here," 26-year-old Gufran Alam told IANS.
Alam works as an executive in a Noida-based export firm.
AAP`s Raju Dhingan won from this constituency, defeating the BJP`s Kiran Vaidya by 29,754 votes.
The residents of Trilokpuri divided themselves into separate groups and took to streets where they raised "Paanch Saal, Kejriwal" slogans, broke into impromptu jigs and burst crackers to celebrate the triumph of the candidate they supported.
The "communal" factor wasn`t the only decisive tool for them to choose the AAP over the BJP. They wanted a party that could also solve issues of basic amenities like water, sanitation and security.
"Last month, my electricity bill came to Rs.3,600. But the most astonishing part is that I am hardly home! But I had to pay the bill. Also, the water we get here is extremely dirty," Ramesh, whose 15-year-old son was shot during the riot, told IANS.
"We are not asking for more. These are just basic amenities every citizen of Delhi should get," he added.
Mohammad Aslam, an auto driver, recollects the time when there was no "threat" or "fear" in their minds, but everything changed after the communal riot.
"We are still living in fear. We want this to change. Our children, our wives... they should roam around freely without any worry... just like old days," Aslam told IANS.
"I hope and pray things will change and our life will get back to normal," he added.