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'Secular' Congress Can No Longer Piggyback on Minority Voteshare

Delhi results prove that the minorities who have been loyal votaries of the party have found a new saviour in AAP.

Published: 11th February 2015 06:00 AM  |   Last Updated: 11th February 2015 07:16 AM   |  A+A-

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NEW DELHI: The BJP may have been drubbed in the Delhi Assembly elections but the Congress has no reasons to cheer. More than the zero score, what should worry the Congress more is the fact that the minorities who have been loyal votaries of the party have found a new saviour in AAP.

The minorities have played a huge role in the landslide victory that AAP has managed to get.

It is evident that Muslims voted en masse for AAP from the fact that it has surged ahead of the rivals in all constituencies such as Chandni Chowk and Mustafabad with a strong minority presence. All these seats had been traditional Congress bastions.

Muslim voters account for 12 per cent of the electorate and in about eight seats, they make up 30-35 per cent of the vote. Majority of them had been steadfastly with the Congress all along and now the shift is very evident.  “The Muslim community had been voting for Congress not because they had any affection for the party. But because they had no alternative. But now with the emergence of AAP, the scenario has changed,” said Ziyal ur Rehman, a research scholar.

“The Muslim community has only one agenda and that is to defeat BJP. We did not vote for AAP last time and instead voted for Congress as AAP was yet to emerge as a credible force. But now we can look beyond Congress,” said Zaid Khan, a retired bureaucrat.

Same goes for the Christian community which had urged its followers during the last Sunday mass to vote for AAP. It may be the first time in history that the Church may have urged its followers to vote for a party other than Congress.

“Our priest had told us to vote for AAP. Even if he had not urged, our vote would have gone to AAP only,” said a faculty with a Central university.

The fact that five churches were vandalised in the last two months and that AAP was the only party that came forward supporting the Christians could have helped it to win minds.

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