The Delhi election results are finally out today. After the end of a highly polarized campaign, the fate of the contesting parties will be known by the end of the day. The fight is expected to be a bipolar contest between the BJP and the Aam Aadmi Party with the Congress nowhere in the picture. One of the most important factors in any highly contested election is the Muslim vote. And the Delhi elections are no different. In this report, we shall focus on those constituencies where the fate of the parties is decided by the Muslim vote.
Since 1993, the Muslim-majority Okhla constituency has never been won by a non-Muslim. It is the same constituency that had elected Amanatullah Khan from the AAP as their representative in 2015. The AAP leader was recently spotted leading riots in the national capital against the Citizenship Amendment Act and was also booked by Delhi police. He contested from the same seat again this year.
Okhla is also the most controversial constituency in terms of anti-CAA riots recently. Shaheen Bagh, where Islamists have laid siege is also a part of the Okhla constituency. At Shaheen Bagh, 2 infants have died due to the protests and the harsh weather conditions and several hate-filled, anti-Hindu slogans like ‘Jinnah Wali Azadi’ have also been raised. The mastermind of Shaheen Bagh protests, Sharjeel Imam, is in police custody after he made seditious statements like trying to cut away Assam from the rest of India. In fact, Sharjeel Imam was seen making provocative statements at a separate event with AAP’s Amanatullah Khan standing right beside him.
Interestingly, even Batla House forms a part of Okhla constituency.
The Okhla Constituency has about 65% Muslim votes as per a report in India TV news.
The BJP has fielded Braham Singh from the constituency. He was the BJP’s candidate in 2015 as well but had secured just over 23% of the votes last time. The Congress, meanwhile, has fielded Parvez Hashmi who has won the seat four times in the past. Shaheen Bagh, which has featured prominently in these election campaigns, lies in this constituency and so does Jamia.
Profile of Okhla:
Constituency Name: Okhla
Constituency Number: 54
District Name: South East Delhi
Total Electors: 2,73,543
Female Electors: 1,07,124
Male Electors: 1,66,394
Third Gender: 25
Percentage of Muslim voters: Over 40%
AAP’s Amanatullah Khan has won.
Seelampur is another constituency that had witnessed massive riots following the passage of the Citizenship Amendment Act in both the houses of the Parliament. It is another constituency that has never been won by a non-Muslim. The Congress party has won this seat four times in the past and the Aam Aadmi Party won it in 2015.
In 2020, the Congress party has fielded a strong candidate. Mateen Ahmed who had held the seat from 1993 to 2015 before losing it to Mohammad Ishraque from the AAP is the Congress party’s candidate this time around. The BJP has fielded Kaushal Mishra this time around. The only way the BJP could win this seat is in the case of a Muslim vote split between the Congress and the AAP.
Seelampur is an Assembly seat in the North-East district of Delhi and a Muslim dominated neighbourhood. The area was set up in the Emergency-era to rehabilitate Muslims rendered homeless after their homes were demolished in the north and central Delhi.
In the run-up to the Delhi Assembly polls, Muslim-dominated areas of Seelampur saw unprecedented violence led by Muslim mobs to protest against the Citizenship Amendment Act.
Delhi was the epicentre of the anti-CAA riots, which later spread to different parts of the country. The Muslim mob in Delhi’s Seelampur had unleashed the violence against public infrastructure and pelted stones at the police injuring many of them. The violent protestors had even attacked school buses in Delhi’s Seelampur area.
There have been serious allegations against Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal-led AAP for instigating riots in Delhi by inciting Muslim mobs against the Modi government ahead of the Delhi assembly elections under the guise of protesting against the Citizenship Amendment Act, which has nothing to do with Indian Muslims.
Shockingly, Aam Aadmi Party led by Arvind Kejriwal has given tickets to people who are associated with instigating riots in Delhi during the anti-CAA riots. AAP has fielded Abdul Rehman to contest from New Delhi’s Seelampur constituency in upcoming elections. Rehman along with ex-Congress MLA Mateen Ahmed has been named in an FIR by Delhi Police for ‘provoking the crowd’ to join the protests.
Profile of Seelampur:
Constituency number: 65
Total electors: 85350
Voter turnout in last Assembly Election: 71.51 %
Polling stations: 150
Percentage of Muslim population: Over 35%
AAP candidate Abdul Rehman has won.
3. Matia Mahal
This Assembly Constituency, too, has never been won by a non-Muslim and is another of the Muslim dominated constituency of Delhi. Shoaib Iqbal had held the seat from 1993 to 2015 before conceding it to Asif Ahmed Khan of the Aam Aadmi Party. This time around, Shoaib Iqbal is contesting from the AAP while the Congress has fielded Mirza Javed Ali. The BJP’s candidate for the seat is Ravindra Gupta.
Muslim voters are likely to play a decisive role in determining the result in this constituency, where they reportedly form around 40 percent of the electorate.
Matia Mahal is home to Ajmeri Gate, Chandni Mahal, Chawri Bazar, Chitli Qabar, Delhi Gate, Hauz Qazi, Lal Kuan, Sita Ram Bazar, Suiwalan and Turkman Gate.
It is pertinent to note that Hauz Qazi forms a part of Matia Mahal constituency. In Hauz Qazi, in July 2019, the Hindu community came under siege by a Muslim mob. Their temple was vandalised and for several days, communal tensions prevailed. The locals had also claimed that while vandalising the temple, the Muslim mob had urinated on the idols and the AAP MLA from the area did nothing to help the Hindus and was, in fact, favouring the Muslim mob.
Profile of Matia Mahal:
Constituency Name: Matia Mahal
Constituency Number: 21
District Name: Central Delhi
Total Electors: 1,15,944
Female Electors: 54,214
Male Electors: 61,720
Third Gender: 10
Percentage of Muslim population: Over 40%
Aam Aadmi Party’s Shoaib Iqbal has won.
No non-Muslim has ever won this Assembly Constituency. Haroon Yusuf from the Congress party held the seat from 1993 to 2015 while the Aam Aadmi Party’s Imran Hussain succeeded in snatching the constituency away from the Congress. Hussain had won almost 60% of the votes last time around while BJP’s Shyam Lal Morwal had managed only 24.29% vote share. In 2020, the Congress has again fielded Haroon Yusuf while the BJP has gone with Lata Sodhi. The AAP has chosen to field the incumbent from the seat, Imran Hussain.
The Dalit-Muslim combination could prove to be decisive in Ballimaran. Together, they form nearly 3/5th of the total electorate in the constituency. The constituency has areas such as Ahata Kale Sahib, Amarpuri, Bagichi Allauddin, Bagichi Raghunath, Bara Dari Sher Afgan, Bara Hindu Rao, Baradari Sher Afgan, Basti Bagrian, Basti Harphool Singh, Basti Julahan, Bazar Ballimaran, Bazar Chandni Chowk, Bazar Lal Kuan, Chamelian Road, Chawri Bazar, Chinyot Basti, Dharam Pura, Faizal Road, Farash Khana, Gali Shyamji, Haveli Hissamuddin Haider, Hoshiar Singh Marg and Jogiwara. The Muslim-dominated constituency has a gender ratio of 817, which is below the city average of 824.
Profile of Ballimaran:
Constituency Name: Ballimaran
Constituency Number: 22
District Name: Central Delhi
Total Electors: 1,40,776
Female Electors: 61,992
Male Electors: 78,777
Third Gender: 7
Percentage of Muslim population: Well over 50-70%
AAP’s Imran Hussain has won.
The BJP had won this seat in 2015 with its candidate Jagdish Pradhan securing 35.33% of the votes. The Muslim vote had split between the Congress and the AAP, paving the way for BJP’s victory. AAP had secured 30.13% of the votes while the Congress had managed 31.68%. The Congress party’s Hasan Ahmed had won this seat in 2008 and 2013. The Constituency had come into existence in 2008 after a delimitation exercise.
The AAP has fielded Haji Yunus and the Congress party has fielded Ahmed’s son and head of its minority wing, Ali Mehndi, from the seat. The BJP has fielded the incumbent from the seat, Jagdish Pradhan.
Rithala, Shahdara, Seemapuri, Babarpur and Mustafabad — have Muslim population between 30 percent and 40 percent. Over the last seven years, AAP has successfully weaned away Muslim voters, who have long been considered a traditional Congress vote bank.
In 2015, when AAP had swept the Delhi elections winning 67 seats and giving away only three to BJP, Mustafabad was the only Muslim-dominated seat that was won by BJP.
Constituency number: 69
Total electors: 2,33,426
Voter turnout in last Assembly Election: 70.65 percent
Polling stations: 192
District: North East Delhi
Muslim population: 30-40%
AAP’s Haji Yunus has won.
Babarpur has a significant Muslim population, between 30 to 40 percent. However, the BJP has won it four times in the past. The seat is currently held by Delhi Cabinet Minister Gopal Rai. He had defeated BJP’s Naresh Gaur by a margin of almost 36,000 votes. This year, it’s again a contest between Rai and Gaur while the Congress party has chosen to field Anveeksha Tripathi Jain.
It is pertinent to note that in June last year, a Delhi court framed charges of rioting, unlawful assembly, murder, the disappearance of evidence, mischief, dacoity, murder and conspiracy against 12 persons accused in the 1984 anti-Sikh riots case in the Babarpur area in northeast Delhi, where seven persons died.
Constituency number: 67
Total electors: 1,92,358
Voter turnout in last Assembly Election: 66.99 percent
Polling stations: 153
Muslim population: Almost 40%
AAP’s Gopal Rai has won.
7. Chandni Chowk
The Assembly Constituency has a Muslim population of over 40 percent. The seat was won by Alka Lamba in 2015 for the Aam Aadmi Party who is now contesting from the Congress party. Meanwhile, Parlad Singh Sawhney, who had won the seat as a Congress candidate four times, contested the elections as the AAP candidate in 2020. The BJP has given its ticket to Suman Kumar Gupta.
Dariba Kalan, Fateh Puri, Jama Masjid, Kashmere Gate, Chandni Chowk, Khyber Pass, Lal Quila and Yamuna Bridge are some of the areas located in the constituency. The trader community, located across markets like Khari Baoli, Darya Ganj, Faiz Bazar, Kinari Bazar, Nai Sarak and Naya Bazar, is also a key electoral factor in this constituency.
Constituency Name: Chandni Chowk
Constituency Number: 20
District Name: Central Delhi
Total Electors: 1,13,784
Female Electors: 51,055
Male Electors: 62,723
Third Gender: 6
Percentage Muslim population: Over 40%
AAP’s Parlad Singh Sawhney has won.