HindustanTimes Fri,26 Dec 2014

‘Betrayed’ Iqbal vows to upset AAP’s applecart in Chandni Chowk

Neelam Pandey, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, March 27, 2014
First Published: 01:27 IST(27/3/2014) | Last Updated: 01:30 IST(27/3/2014)

He had supported the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) during the crucial trust vote in the Delhi Assembly. Now, Matia Mahal MLA Shoaib Iqbal has decided to campaign against AAP candidate from Chandni Chowk, Ashutosh.

Iqbal has represented Matia Mahal seat in the Delhi Assembly since 1993 and the area is considered his fiefdom. He is considered to have significant clout among Muslim voters in Chandni Chowk.

The MLA has been accusing AAP of betraying his trust, saying that Ashutosh “forced” two councillors from his area to join AAP. This, he claims, was done to weaken his hold over his voters. 

“AAP had promised that they will never indulge in cheap politics but the first thing Ashutosh did was completely against what the party had promised us. Because of him, two of my party’s councillors joined AAP, but if he thinks this will get him the support of the people he is mistaken. The local people will never support such tactics. If Ashutosh and AAP wanted our party’s support, they could have asked me. But now I will campaign against him in my constituency and expose AAP’s cheap politics. I will ask people not to vote for AAP,” said Iqbal.

Iqbal, the only JD(U) MLA in Delhi, had supported AAP when the party’s government had to prove majority in the Assembly. He had also supported their manifesto.
The Muslims in the Chandni Chowk assembly constituency have traditionally voted for Congress as they didn’t consider the BJP as an option. Congress’ Parlad Singh Sawhney is winning the seat since 1998 and is the sitting legislator from the area.

However, with the entry of AAP, the contest has become triangular this time.

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