Cong to focus on Muslim-dominated seats after CAA protests

Cong to focus on Muslim-dominated seats after CAA protests


New Delhi, Jan 9 (IANS) The Congress may focus on minority votes in the February 8 Delhi Assembly polls as it feels despite freebies the minority community is miffed with Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal for not taking a strong stand against the new citizenship law (CAA). Okhla, Seelampur, Matia Mahal, Ballimaran, Mustafabad and Chandni Chowk seats -- once the Congress stronghold but now represented by the Aam Aadmi Party in the Assembly --fall in minority-dominated areas. After the massive protest against the CAA, the National Population Register (NPR) and the National Register of Citizens (NRC), the Congress is eyeing a comeback on these seats. However, the party is finding it tough to select consensus candidates amid too many claimants. In Seelampur, five-time former MLA Matin Ahmed is the top choice. Haroon Yusuf is likely to get nomination from Ballimaran. For the Okhla seat, there are many claimants. While Asif Mohd Khan and Parvez Hashmi have entered the race for the party ticket, Shoeb Danish and Manish Chowdhry (both councillors) are also eyeing nomination. In Mustafabad, two-time former MLA Hasan Ahmed wants ticket for his son Ali Mehdi, head of the party's minority wing. In Chandni Chowk, former MLA Prahlad Sahni has quit the party and Alka Lamba has come in. Lamba is likely to get the party ticket as she has been in the forefront of the anti-CAA protests. The party is also banking on large chunk of minority votes in Sadar Bazar, Kirari, Sangam Vihar, Babarpur and Rithala. The Muslims account for 13 per cent Delhi population and as many as five seats are considered Muslim seats and is searching for candidates who can help attract the minority community votes. But Shoeb Iqbal's exit and joining the AAP on Thursday is being seen as a setback. Meanwhile, the Congress screening committee is busy preparing a list of candidates, to be put before the central election committee on Saturday.

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