Reacting to the controversial remarks made by its leader Shazia Ilmi in a video clip, the AAP on Wednesday said that it does not believe in the politics of communalism, but questioned the intentions of those who circulated the clip.
“Aam Aadmi Party would like to reiterate that the party does not believe in politics of communalism and is strictly against it. Neither will we evade or take lightly, concerns of AAP supporters and general public over such a serious issue,” the party said in a statement.
It, however, questioned the intentions of those who circulated the video clip.
“The fact that those who have brought this 80 second clip in public domain have not shared the rest of the video which can show the actual context. It raises serious questions about the intentions behind the video clip”, the party said in a statement.
“If they have really done this in public interest, we request them to share the full unclipped video or the link to download it in public and also send it to us at firstname.lastname@example.org, so that the truth becomes clear between what is being attributed through the short clip and the response to it,” the statement added.
When Arvind Kejriwal was asked about the issue, he evaded the question.
Earlier in the day, Ilmi also issued a statement to defend herself, saying the remarks made had been picked up from a casual conversation and her tone and tenor was ironic.
“This comment has been picked up from a casual conversation and in an informal setting. It is quite clear from the tone and tenor of the comment that I am using the term secular and communal in an ironic manner”, she said.
“Point is to simply say that the Muslim community has allowed itself to be used far too long by the so called secular parties. It would be better for the community to turn to their real life material interest like education and employment,” Ilmi said.
Ilmi said that her statement was being distorted and misconstrued.
“It is to be noted that I am making a plea to vote for a candidate who is not a Muslim and in the name of a leader who is not a Muslim. I am shocked to see that a statement like this can be so distorted and miscontrued as communal and inciting hatred.
“My party and I have always stood against any form of communalism and I shall continue to do so,” she said.
Ilmi found herself at the centre of a controversy on Tuesday over her remarks that Muslims should become “communal” for their own good when they vote this time and not be “too secular”.