NEW DELHI: The epicentre of anti-CAA protests in the national capital, Shaheen Bagh on Saturday saw serpentine queues as a large number people came out to vote early morning on Saturday. Voters in the Okhla constituency said that development was equally important to them as their demand to repeal the Citizenship Amendment Act, NPR and the proposed NRC.
Tabassum, a housewife said that the reason behind the high turnout especially women coming out to vote in large numbers was due to the recent protests. “We are protesting everyday so that these laws are done away with. Today, our vote is also going out in hope that there would be the right government in Delhi. One that works on developmental front not division,” she added.
Women of the area voted in batches to ensure that the month-long sit-in protest is unaffected. Shaheen Bagh has been at the centre of the poll campaign with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) taking regular digs at the opposition including the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) for backing the protests. BJP star campaigner and Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh Yogi Adityanath went to the extent of accusing Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal of sending ‘biryani’ to the protesters at Shaheen Bagh.
Amid the polarising environment, there was a clear sense of desire among the voters in the Muslim dominated constituency to vote against the BJP. “We are witness to what’s happening across the country. There are attempts to communally divide Hindus and Muslims. We have to see the intention of the political party and not get lured by anyone. Development should be the focus not division,” said Rizwana Khatoon, a housewife from Abul Fazal Enclave. Senior citizen, Siddiq-ul-Rehman Kidwai (86) said he feels there is more enthusiasm in this election than ever. “All elections are important but this one particularly is more important,” Kidwai added.
women back to protest after voting
Shaheen Bagh’s women protesters voted in batches on Saturday so that the agitation remains unaffected. While some of the women voted in the morning, others chose to get their fingers inked in the afternoon and the remaining in the evening.