Muslims, Christians celebrate AAP victory

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New Delhi, Feb 10: Members of the Muslim and Christian communities, who had voted in large numbers for the AAP, rejoiced at the party's victory on Tuesday.

They expressed hope that the capital would see a better government that would be above communal and caste-based politics.

aap

In Muslim majority areas of the walled city, in Okhla and Jamia Nagar in south Delhi, and Trilokpuri and Seemapuri in east Delhi, there was much celebration.

Residents burst fire crackers and distributed sweets and danced to the beat of drums, sporting Aam Aadmi Party caps and waving the party symbol -- the broom.

Residents of the walled city, from where AAP's Alka Lamba won by over 18,000 votes, led victory processions and danced to the tune of "Paanch Saal Kejriwal".

"We chose AAP on the issues of water, power and basic amenities. But our first priority was to choose a party that will be impartial on caste and community based politics," Amantulla, a 50-year-old resident of Chandni Chowk, told IANS.

Muslim residents of Triokpuri -- which remained under curfew for several days after communal violence broke out during Diwali last year -- expressed happiness over the win of AAP candidate Raju Dhingan.

"Finally, truth stood victorious. We are confident that the AAP will solve our problems," 60-year-old Trilokpuri resident Amina Begum told IANS.

Christians said they were upset over the perceived growing intolerance against the community.

"The growing intolerance against Christians and the complete silence on part of Prime Minister Narendra Modi has actually led to this debacle for the BJP," Vivek Masih, who works as a counsel for the Delhi government in Tis Hazari court, told IANS.

"I voted for the AAP because it has secular credentials and this very fact tilted the scale towards them," he told IANS.

"The BJP and its allies attacking churches in Delhi and elsewhere in the country created a strong sense of fear among the community and they voted for the AAP," Rajani, who works with St. Stephen's hospital, told IANS.

"Kejriwal being a common man understands what is required and he is offering a free wifi service in the city, which also attracted me towards his party," she said.

Amit Gorden, who works with an NGO, said Prime Minister Modi "keeping mum on attacks on Christians is a cause for concern but still I want that people give some more time to the central government to perform," he said.

"I voted for the AAP because I saw in them an alternative to divisive, destructive and hateful communal politics. India is a diverse and plural country and it should continue to be so," said Amelia Andrews, a communication expert with an international NGO.

"I am a citizen of India, no matter what my religion or caste is," she said.

Homemaker Shikha John said she was concerned over Modi not assuring the people that there would be no further atrocities against the Christian community.

Pastor of St. James' church Mohit Hitter said he voted for the AAP and feels the BJP "failed to instil confidence" among the minority communities.

"I knew the Congress will not make it, so it would have been senseless voting for the losing party."

Residents of east Delhi's Seemapuri said they voted for the AAP as they were facing problems of water and electricity.

"Water is the basic problem of this area. Coloured water with an unusual smell is supplied here generally. We are overburdened with electricity bills," said Karim Khan, a 48-year-old Seemapuri resident.

Karimulla, another resident of Seemapuri, told IANS: "I usually live outside my house in the day, but I got a bill of Rs.3,500 last month. No one is ready to solve our problem. I hope the AAP will solve this issue."

In fact, the views were shared by majority of Muslims all over the city who ditched the Congress for the AAP.

Arshad, an executive residing in Jamia Nagar in south Delhi, said: "Traditional Congress voters like me have switched allegiance to the AAP because it is the stronger party at the moment and will give a tough fight to the BJP."

IANS

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