The residents of Shaheen Bagh, the epicentre of the anti-CAA protests, celebrated the stupendous success of the AAP in the Delhi Assembly polls on Tuesday as many offered free food and biryani to celebrate the party”s victory.
Aam Aadmi Party”s (AAP) Okhla candidate Amanatullah Khan trounced his BJP rival Braham Singh by a margin of 71,827 votes. Shaheen Bagh and Jamia Nagar fall under the Okhla constituency.
After the first few rounds of counting, Singh was leading by 194 votes, but subsequently, Khan took the pole position.
Shaheen Bagh has become the epicentre of the protests against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA) as women with young children have been staging a sit-in protest there for nearly two months.
“It is the victory of all of us. All of us elected Amanat bhai (Khan) as our leader. He has helped the women and youngsters of this area in every sphere — from health to education, infrastructure to jobs. He got many youngsters employed,” Shamima Bano of Shaheen Bagh said.
Women protesters erupted in joy with loud rounds of applause as they hugged each other.
“The AAP truly brought development to the aam aadmi (common man). My kids go to a nearby government school. We all go to the AAP government”s mohalla clinic for treatment. My mother-in-law is being treated for her knee problem for four years,” Mehjabeen Qureshi said at the protest site.
“The AAP understands the needs of the citizens,” she added.
The excitement was palpable at Batla House, Noor Nagar, Abu Fazal Enclave, Zakir Nagar and the adjoining areas when the news of the AAP winning big emerged.
Asim Khan, a garment dealer, said, “We have seen Jamia Nagar change in the last five years. We voted for AAP”s honesty and transparent policies. Not only Jamia Nagar, entire Delhi voted for real ”vikas” (development), which is Arvind Kejriwal.” Sharvari (75) of Shaheen Bagh said, “Amanatullah is like our son and his victory is not by chance. The AAP has understood the pulse of Delhi. Today we want to distribute biryani to all those politicians who called our protest politically motivated and accused us of eating sponsored biryani.” The elections in the national capital took place in the midst of massive protests in the city and elsewhere over the new citizenship law, an issue that was strongly raised by the top BJP leadership during the campaigning, which often turned bitter and vitriolic.
The political opponents of the BJP accused the saffron party of carrying out a “divisive” campaign to polarise the voters by consistently highlighting the over-50-day demonstration by women at Shaheen Bagh.
Though the BJP campaign focussed on issues related to national security, the AAP focussed on its achievements in the fields of education, healthcare and infrastructure.
Zubair Ahmed, a restaurant owner at Batla House, said, “We are going to distribute free food today and on Friday to poor people in the honour of the AAP”s victory.” Sanjeeda Ahmed, another resident of the area, said, “Okhla is seen as an industrial area. No one ever bothered to develop this area, but the AAP brought development in terms of health, schools and roads here.”