Delhi Election Results: AAP Wins CAA Protest Areas, Muslim Pockets

AAP wins seats with anti-CAA protests like Okhla, Seelampur, Matia Mahal. This indicates huge support from Muslims

3 min read
Protesters at Delhi’s Shaheen Bagh.

The protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act at Shaheen Bagh and other parts of Delhi were made a major election issue by the BJP, with a clear aim to polarise Hindu voters.

While the party may have succeeded in doing that in some parts of East Delhi, the areas where anti-CAA protests took place have voted overwhelmingly for the Aam Aadmi Party.

In Okhla constituency – which includes two major centres of anti-CAA protests, Shaheen Bagh and Jamia Milia Islamia – AAP’s Amanatullah Khan won by a huge margin. BJP had run a vicious campaign against Khan, accusing him of orchestrating the violence near Jamia Milia Islamia. BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra even tweeted a misleading comment that Khan wants to “impose Sharia” in India. Khan defeated BJP’s Brahm Singh in Okhla while Congress’ Parvez Hashmi came a distant third.

In North East Delhi’s Seelampur where protests have been taking place for over a month, AAP’s Abdul Rehman defeated BJP’s Kaushal Mishra. Congress fancied its chances in this seat with senior leader Chaudhary Mateen Ahmed as its candidate but it failed to make an impact in a polarised contest. BJP had accused both Abdul Rehman and Mateen Ahmed of being behind the violence at Seelampur.

The neighbouring Mustafabad constituency proved to be a cliffhanger between sitting BJP MLA Jagdish Pradhan and AAP’s Haji Yunus. Until the 13th round of counting, Pradhan appeared to be sailing towards victory with a lead of nearly 30,000 votes but in the last few rounds Haji Yunus reversed this lead. Religious polarisation appears to have been complete in this seat with a large chunk of Hindu voters consolidating behind BJP’s Pradhan while Muslim voters picked Haji Yunus instead of Congress’ Ali Mehdi. BJP had won this seat last time, mainly due to a split in votes between AAP and Congress candidate Hasan Ahmed.

Old Delhi’s Matia Mahal seat, which is home to Delhi’s Jama Masjid, also witnessed major protests against the CAA, the most prominent one being when Bhim Army chief Chandrashekhar Azad ‘Raavan’ came there. Here AAP carried out a coup by pulling away local strongman Shoaib Iqbal from the Congress. Iqbal had won the seat five times on the ticket of Janata Dal and its breakaway parties but lost as the Congress candidate to AAP in 2015. He has won the seat this time by a massive margin as well.

In Old Delhi’s Ballimaran seat, AAP minister Imran Hussain won by a massive margin, defeating BJP’s Lata Sodhi. Congress heavyweight Haroon Yusuf finished a distant third.

Another major epicentre of the protests was Khureji, that falls under the Krishna Nagar constituency. The seat went down to the wire, with BJP leading for many of the rounds. But sitting AAP MLA SK Bagga ended up victorious. The constituency used to be the bastion of BJP leader and Union Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan. The seat is not a Muslim-dominated seat unlike the above five seats but Muslim pockets like Khureji, voted massively in favour of AAP.

Seemapuri in North East Delhi also witnessed protests against the CAA. Here Rajendra Pal Gautam has won with an impressive margin. Besides being a minister in the Kejriwal government, Gautam is a prominent Dalit face of AAP.

These results indicate massive support of Muslims in favour of AAP. In seats like Mustafabad and Chandni Chowk, certain Muslim concentration booths voted over 80 percent in favour of AAP.

This support is despite Arvind Kejriwal’s equivocation on the Shaheen Bagh protests. It seems that BJP’s communal campaign and benefits from Kejriwal’s welfare schemes pushed this section decisively in favour of AAP.

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