Five Muslim candidates, all from the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), emerged victorious in the 8 February Delhi Assembly polls, retaining the party’s hold on the minority voter segment it had wrested from the Congress.
AAP's Amanatullah Khan retained his Okhla seat defeating BJP’s Braham Singh by a whopping margin of over 70,000 votes. At one point, Singh was leading by close to 2,000 votes.
In Seelampur, AAP won despite replacing its sitting MLA Mohammad Ishraque with Abdul Rehman. Rehman defeated BJP’s Kaushal Kumar Mishra with a margin of 36,920 votes.
In the Ballimaran seat, AAP candidate and Delhi minister Imran Hussain won, defeating BJP’s Lata Sodhi by a margin of 36,172 votes. Former Delhi minister and Congress candidate Haroon Yusuf finished third with a meagre 4.73 percent vote share.
In Matia Mahal, Shoaib Iqbal, who was representing AAP, after having being fielded by and having won on tickets given to him by Janata Dal, Lok Janshakti Party, Janata Dal (Secular) and Janata Dal (United) in the five Assembly elections between 1993 ans 2013, repeated his feat again. He polled 67,250 votes and defeated BJP’s Ravinder Gupta.
Mustafabad, the only constituency with a considerable Muslim population where a BJP leader came to power in the 2015 Assembly polls, AAP’s Haji Yunus registered a victory, having bagged 98,850 votes. At a certain time during the counting, his rival BJP’s Jagdish Pradhan was leading by 29,000 votes but was left behind as the day progressed.
In Delhi, Muslim voters constitute 13 percent of the electorate and are scattered through Ballimaran, Matia Mahal, Mustafabad, Okhla, Babarpur and Seelampur, localities where Muslims comprise 40 percent of the population. As the BJP weaved its narrative around nationalism and Hindutva, hitting out at the AAP for the anti-CAA protests at Jamia Millia Islamia and Shaheen Bagh, the Kejriwal-led party remained focused on its development pitch. It is also to be noted that the BJP had not fielded any Muslim candidates.
A Delhi Congress leader told the New Indian Express that people united against BJP’s “politics of hate” and voted for the AAP since they realised Congress cannot defeat the BJP. Meanwhile, a BJP leader said admitted that excessive use of Hindutva and attack on anti-CAA protest, including the one at Shaheen Bagh, had resulted in reverse polarisation.
The Delhi Assembly election recorded a voter turnout was of 62.59 percent. Three Muslim-dominated seats — Seelampur, Mustafabad and Matia Mahal — recorded high voter turnout. The highest turnout, until 9 pm, was recorded in Seelampur at 71.4 percent followed by Mustafabad at 70.56 percent. Matia Mahal in old Delhi recorded a turnout of 70.33 percent.
Election officials said that there were as many as 13,571 polling stations at 2,688 locations. Out of these, 3,141 were designated critical polling stations and 144 vulnerable polling stations. The highest number of voters was in the Matiala constituency with around 400,000 voters. Chandni Chowk is the constituency with the lowest number of voters at 100,000.
As the counting of votes concluded on 11 February, it emerged that the AAP retained power in Delhi, winning in 62 seats. The BJP won in eight constituencies and the Congress in none.
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Updated Date: Feb 12, 2020 14:55:36 IST