Even as BJPs PM candidate Narendra Modi addressed rallies on Saturday,Muslim leaders and candidates in the capital dismissed the Modi factor in the Delhi Assembly elections.
Modi is not an issue here. People do not recognise him as a factor. In this middle class population,issues such as education matter more, Mirza Javed Ali,Congress candidate from Matia Mahal,said.
Recounting the incident in which Modi refused to accept a skullcap from a Muslim cleric,Okhla MLA Asif Mohammad Khan said,Not just Muslims,even secular Hindus are wary of Modi and his ways.
Congresss Chaudhary Mateen Ahmad,who has contested from Seelampur in Delhi Assembly polls for two decades,is so confident of victory that his campaigning merely involves a plea for voters to exercise their franchise.
Go out and vote on December 4. If you treat polling day as a holiday and refuse to walk up to the polling booth,you will have nothing to blame me for, he says.
Countering Ahmads stance,BJPs sole Muslim candidate Nizamuddin is contesting the Matia Mahal seat. He says the ghost of Gujarat riots will have no effect. He presents the Gujarat development model in his constituency to gather public support.
I am telling the voters about how much Muslims have gained in Gujarat,while the Muslims in Delhi are lagging behind.
Janata Dal Uniteds Shoaib Iqbal,four-time MLA from Matia Mahal,shares the Congresss view. Vajpayee also led the BJP and Muslims always respected him. Since then,(Muslims) have been without options… Now is the time for change but it will not be in Modis favour, he said.