Indian Express

Some ground lost, banking on Muslims, Dalits: AAP

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Buoyed by the response to its campaigning for Lok Sabha elections in the capital, the Aam Aadmi Party on Friday expressed optimism over the outcome of not just the general elections but the next Delhi Assembly polls, claiming that their supporter base has increased manifold.

Even as the party’s top leadership admitted to erosion of some support, they feel it is only a miniscule section of the support base. On the other hand, senior leaders believe the party has gained support among groups that traditionally voted for the Congress or the BJP.

“The AAP has not been able to get votes mostly from the economically well-off sections. The support from the middle class has also dropped by 10 to 20 per cent. Some of our staunch supporters are upset. There are a couple of reasons behind this — the resignation of the AAP government and the attraction of Narendra Modi,” an AAP leader said.

But AAP’s Lok Sabha candidate from Chandni Chowk, Ashutosh, maintained, “Our support base in Delhi has seen substantial improvement. Those who believe that the AAP has failed to create an impact will be in for a surprise when they see the outcome of the parliamentary and then the Assembly elections.”

According to other AAP leaders, the party has gained support among the Muslims, Dalits and Poorvanchalis.

“The party’s hold in the Valmiki community and residents of jhuggi-jhopri clusters, irrespective of their caste, has strengthened. After seeing the outcome of the Delhi Assembly elections, Muslims have also come out in support of the AAP. In Delhi, they did not have any alternative to the Congress until now. They could not vote for the BJP. The Congress took them for granted. As the Congress lost ground, the anti-BJP votes have come to us,” a senior AAP leader said.

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