Zee Media Bureau
New Delhi: Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader Shazia Ilmi on Tuesday stroke a fresh controversy by asking Muslims to become more `communal` and less `secular` when they vote, in an alleged video which has become viral on the internet.
According to reports, the video shows Ilmi, who is contesting the General Elections from Gaziabad constituency, asking few Muslim voters to support her party rather than Congress.
"Don`t be much secular. Muslims are too secular and they should become communal. They are not communal and do not vote for themselves. Arvind Kejriwal is ours. Muslims have remained secular for long...Have voted for the Congress and helped them win. Don`t be so secular and look at your house (community) this time," she was quoted as saying.
"Other parties have their vote bank intact and Muslim votes split. This is a controversial statement, but we should look at our own interest," Ilmi, purportedly said in a video, in which she is having a conversation with members of the Muslim community.
Meanwhile, AAP leader Manish Sisodia has condemned the communal remarks made by Ilmi.
“I have seen the video, believe that Shazia should not have said that,” Sisodia posted on micro-blogging website Twitter.
I've seen Shazia's clip. She should have not said it. AAP does not believe in communal politics. Our politics is to unite all Indians.
— Manish Sisodia (@msisodia) April 22, 2014
While condemning the content of the said video, which has gone viral on the internet, he added, “We do not believe in this kind of politics. Our politics is to unite all Indians.”
However, Ilmi later said that her words were twisted and she did not mean what has been depicted.
“I said it half sarcastically that don’t be so secular, you (Muslims) need to be communal, think of yourselves,” the AAP leader said.
She added, “Muslims aren`t communal, are very secular, they need to be communal, wasn`t to incite hatred, was telling them to think of themselves.
"When we ask someone don`t be too smart, doesn`t mean am telling the person not to be smart or to be foolish,” she stated.
She also said, “I was telling them (Muslims) that you don’t need to be a slave to any party.”
Knowing that this video can prove to be a massive jolt for the AAP in the ongoing Lok Sabah polls, Ilmi said, “I was aware that this might become a controversial matter but it was necessary to discuss.”
“Told them (Muslims) you people are very very secular,you need to think of your betterment, why do you live in fear?,” the AAP leader further said.
This video may act as a set-back for the newly formed party and may also impact Ilmi`s chances of winning. She lost the Delhi Assembly seat, last year, by a small margin of 326 votes.
However, the authenticity of the video is yet to be proved.