Jamia Nagar vows not to vote for Congress or BJPOctober 18th, 2008 - 6:31 pm ICT by IANS
New Delhi, Oct 18 (IANS) Residents of Jamia Nagar say they will give vent to their anger over the police shootout in the area last month by voting out the sitting Congress legislator and ushering in a candidate of their choice in the Delhi assembly polls Nov 29.They are seething with rage against the Congress, which has so far been silent on conducting a judicial probe into the Sep 19 encounter in which two Muslim youths were gunned down as suspected terrorists. But they are also quick to add that it will not translate into votes for the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) either.
“People are furious with the Congress, our youngsters have been killed in the name of terrorism. We were attached with the Congress for decades, but now we feel that we have been ditched,” said Mohammed Akram, 34, a contractor who lives in Okhla.
The suspected militants who were gunned down at Batla House in Jamia Nagar were linked by police to the Delhi serial blasts of Sep 13. But doubts have been raised about the police version.
Various parties, especially the Samajwadi Party (SP), which is a political ally of the Congress, have been demanding a judicial probe into the shootout.
A huge crowd was addressed by Samajwadi Party leader Amar Singh and Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee in the area Friday night. Both reiterated their demand for a judicial probe.
“Today the Samajwadi Party party has extended its hands towards us and Muslims will respond to it,” said Parwez Akhtar, 33, an engineer in Jamia Millia Islamia University.
The perception is that Muslim youths are being victimised in the name of terrorism.
“People in general are feeling insecure. In this election, instead of development, security for the community will the main issue - something that has made Muslims lose hope in the Congress.”
Residents of the Muslim majority area are busy making their own political calculations and want a non-Congress candidate who can also defeat the nominee of the BJP, which has been talking tough on terrorism.
“We don’t want the Congress, but we don’t want the BJP either. If the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) puts up a strong Muslim candidate then he will have a fair chance of winning the election, as this constituency has almost 20,000 Dalits who votes for the BSP,” said Shariq Zaheer, 35, an architect.
“Seeing the mood and anger of people, both the BSP and Samajwadi Party want to put up a candidate who can ensure victory against Parvez Hashmi, the sitting MLA of the Congress,” said Mohammed Ayyub, 31, a local trader.
Going by the mood in the area, political parties too are taking a closer look at the winnability of candidates.
Said a BSP worker on condition of anonymity: “Earlier the BSP was planning to put up Bhram Singh, but it now wants a strong Muslim candidate to contest on its ticket.”
Tags: bharatiya janata party, congress candidate, jamia millia islamia, jamia millia islamia university, judicial probe, mamata banerjee, muslim majority, muslim youths, political ally, trinamool congress