Pehle AAP? Muslims in Delhi seek to choose the side to cancel BJP in polls
“Sabka apna rujhan hota hai, but the wave seems to be for AAP,” says Mohammed Tehsin, 70, a Mustafabad salesman in northeast Delhi. He has voted for Congress all his life, even in the last elections of Lok Sabha, but most of the neighborhood votes for AAP, he says. “It is difficult to choose in the voting booth, ungli dagmaaga jaati hai, but it is important to make a clear decision,” he says.
Two children on bicycles speak loudly for Congress, noting that the candidate’s father, Hasan Ahmed, had built these roads and the nearby cemetery, and had worked hard. But they also admit that they would probably persuade their families to vote for AAP so that the community vote could be Ektarfa. Last time, BJP had come to power with 58,388 votes in the constituency, which was divided between Congress with 52,357 and AAP with 49,791.
While Congress has launched to defend Muslims in the CAA-NRC resistance and police excesses, AAP has moved away from the problem to a great extent.
Even in the house of Batla House near Jamia Millia Islamia, one of the epicenters of recent violence, there is more vocal support for AAP. While Nasim Ahmed, a supporter of Congress, says his candidate, Parvez Hashmi, “has never lost an election from here and has done most of the work to build the area,” the others outnumber him, who say that Congress has lost Not putting a Damdaar CM candidate this time. “In the 2015 elections, when AAP won, everything was decided in the last three days, paasa palat gaya. This time, however, the leher is clearly with Arvind Kejriwal, ”says Aas Mohammed. Many of these men used to work in a 30-year-old steelmaking business that closed due to GST and rising costs.
Voters are eloquent about the dangers of NRC and CAA, the economic history of the Modi government, its sale of PSU, etc. This, however, is an existential crisis, they say. “It is only the bhaichaara of yore that now sustains us, the Nai Fasal does not seem to understand that,” Aas Mohammed despairs. But this fight for the Constitution is bigger than the elections in Delhi, he says.
Sitting on the steps of Jama Masjid in a protest against CAA-NRC, Nida, 34 (who doesn’t want to share her last name), says: “Matia Mahal will see a sweep by jhadoo. I say it with 98% confidence.”
The AAP candidate, Shoaib Iqbal, has just jumped from Congress and has a great influence in the area, since he won all elections (except the last one) under several party banners. “My father is a Kattar Congressi, but even he understands, why waste a vote this time,” she says.
In nearby Ballimaran, AAP MLA and Minister Imran Hussain, a businessman who was an independent advisor before joining the party, is visibly popular. His office handles Aadhaar cards, ration cards, caste certificates and other documents, hospital references, etc. “We have a daily tread of 300-400 people here and 10 staff members. Meanwhile, Congressman Haroon Yusuf (former minister and heavyweight party who had been elected five times by Ballimaran) doesn’t even have an office in the neighborhood, ”says AAP councilor Mohammed Sadiq.
Despise the BJP polarization campaign. “Delhi is the heart of India. Here live people from all over the country, of all religions, castes and origins. These dharm and jati problems do not affect Delhi, what matters are real problems. “AAP volunteers say they have built 100 drilled wells and replaced 80% of the sewer network in the area. There is a mohalla clinic nearby and three schools are being built. “Well work started with Haroon Yusuf, he also worked. But with him, ekzamana-tha wali baat ho gayi, I think he should have stayed out of this election,” says Mohammed Asif, who directs an eyeglass store in Ballimaran.
He makes a clear distinction between the election of Lok Sabha, where “most important internal and international matters are important”, and this one, which deals with the provision of services, ravines and sewers, water and electricity, schooling and health. AAP has worked hard on all fronts, he says. Nazma Bari, an ad hoc teacher at a municipal school in Matia Mahal, has exempted fees for minority students who can present a certificate of income.
For many voters, it is not just a tactical choice between Lok Sabha and Vidhan Sabha, there is real satisfaction with the redistributive work of AAP. The reduction of electricity and water bills means more to the poor than abstract “development” work like the high-pass construction that Sheila Dikshit used to say, they say. “I used to pay between 1,000 and 1,200 rupees for electricity, between 2,500 and 3,000 rupees sometimes for water. Now it is nothing. I also got my GPS SIM for free, ”says Zamir Ahmed, a car driver.
Meanwhile, an e-rickshaw driver, Mohammed Salim says his 80-year-old mother sends duas through Arvind Kejriwal. “He won my heart when he talked about suspending corrupt officials. He gets the pain of ordinary people. ”
In Seelampur, in northeastern Delhi, the young Mohammed Javed, a tailor, says there is no contradiction between supporting Congress and AAP: “This time, it is definitely Kejriwal for many of us.” His friend, Amit Verma, is a fervent supporter of BJP, and they criticize mercilessly for politics. “It’s a worm, but I love it,” says Javed. “We don’t fight, only stupid people are made to fight for religion and politics,” says Verma.