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Aap lady prominece shazia ilmi made call for secular

Aap lady prominece shazia ilmi made call for secular

NEW DELHI: The Aam Aadmi Party found itself in an embarrassing position when Shazia Ilmi, its senior member and party candidate from Ghaziabad, was seen in a video telling Muslims that they should stop being “secular” while casting their vote and be “communal” in these elections. 

“Muslims are too secular. Muslims will have to be communal for the first time. Muslims are not communal, they do not vote for their own. Arvind Kejriwal is our own,” Ilmi is heard telling a group of Muslims in a room. The 79-second clip was ostensibly shot when Shazia was in Mumbai recently. 

Faced with a barrage of criticism over Shazia Ilmi’s purported remarks, the Aam Aadmi Party refused to defend her, saying there was no place in the party for such sentiments. 

Ilmi’s video went viral on Tuesday and the party promptly distanced itself from the comments. An official statement from AAP said that it “does not believe in this kind of politics nor do we endorse it. All our representatives should be careful in their choice of words so that there is no scope for misinterpretation”. 

Senior party leader Manish Sisodia tweeted, “I’ve seen Shazia’s clip. She should have not said it. AAP does not believe in communal politics. Our politics is to unite all Indians.” 

In the video, Ilmi is heard saying, “So far we have been making Congress win. Don’t be so secular. Think of your interests this time. Muslims are secular and vote for everyone. Other parties do not do this. They have a set vote bank. Our votes are constantly getting divided. Think of your self this time.” 

Individuals in the clip are seen to be nodding at Ilmi’s remarks. One person adds that Muslims are often responsible for turning the tide in an election even though they are victimized. “Dare bhi hum aur jitaye bhi hum lekin malai khaye koi aur (We are used as a vote bank but also forced to live in fear. Meanwhile others reap benefits),” the clip shows him saying. 

To this, Ilmi, says that this time they should change their strategy and ‘fight and win’. 

While Ilmi’s remarks drew sharp and quick reaction on social media, a few said the AAP leader came through as “clueless”. Tweeted social activist Kavita Krishnan: “Shazia Ilmi’s ‘Muslims shd b communal’ remark isn’t communal. Only shows she hasn’t 1st clue what ‘communal’/’secular’ mean. #embarrassing (sic).”

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