How ‘shoot the traitors', Pakistan analogies in Shaheen Bagh did not work for BJP
New Delhi, Feb 11: Incumbent AAP MLA Amanatullah Khan won Muslim-dominated Okhla constituency by nearly 70,000 votes, which has been the epicentre of protests against the new citizenship law.
According to the latest election trends, Amanatullah Khan won against his BJP's Braham Singh and Congress's Parvez Hashmi. In the initial trends, Braham Singh was leading by 194 votes, but Amanatullah Khan later look a huge lead and is all set to retain the seat. Shaheen Bagh and Jamia Nagar which has been the epicentre of anti-CAA protest fall under the Okhla constituency.
In the 2015 elections, Amanatullah Khan had defeated BJP's Braham Singh by over 60,000 votes while two-time MLA from Okhla, Congress' Asif Mohd Khan was relegated to the third spot with 20,135 votes. Until then, Congress was a popular choice. The stronghold ended with AAP securing over 62% of the votes in the constituency.
It should be noted that BJP has never won the Okhla seat since 1993 but they have always fielded a Hindu candidate, except for once - in 2009 by-elections in the seat. And that was the BJP's worst performance in the seat in terms of vote share.
However, the Delhi election results 2020 indicate that the issues of Shaheen Bagh and Pakistan, which were taken up by the BJP in its campaigning, did not work out for the party.
Home Minister Amit Shah, during his campaigning rally, had asked voters to "press button with such anger that Shaheen Bagh feels the current".
Another BJP leader Anurag Thakur, went a step further, asking voters,"Desh Ke Gaddaro Ko, Goli Maaro Saalo Ko" (shoot the traitors) several times while addressing a public meeting in Rithala on January 27.
Several other BJP leaders had also made controversial remarks on Shaheen Bagh during the election campaign.
Shaheen Bagh was the epicentre of protest against the CAA where a large number of women, with young children have been on a sit-in protest for nearly two months. Less than two kilometres away from Shaheen Bagh, Jamia Millia Islamia students with the support of Jamia Nagar locals, have been holding protest on the road outside the varsity against the CAA.
The varsity's students have turned the road into a protest site after police action on the campus on December 15. In the lead up to the polls, three firing incidents, including two from outside the university, were reported, with police making arrests in two of the cases. Shaheen Bagh had also remained at the centrestage during the campaign for the high-stake polls.
However, most political parties in the opposition thought it best to keep a distance from the protest at Shaheen Bagh.
(with PTI inputs)