'Don't divide secular vote'

AAP uses 'unsigned' pamphlets to appeal to Muslims

Cartons of pamphlets asking Muslims to vote for the Aam Aadmi Party were kept at the AAP’s Patel Nagar office on Wednesday for distribution across the city.

However, the party seems to making an extra effort to make it look like that the ‘appeal’ is not being made by it.

Unlike in the usual AAP pamphlets, these do not carry the party name in bold, or its election symbol. The signatories also do not mention their association with the AAP, though two of them are party members.

Instead, AAP leaders Ikram Hassan and Mohammed Yamin associate themselves with their Islamic organisations All India Muslim Ekta Manch and All India Abbasi Development and Welfare Association respectively.

Praising former Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s brief rule, the AAP leaders urge the Muslim community to avoid splitting the Muslim vote by going for Congress in the upcoming Assembly polls.

“Danger prevails over secular leadership because trumpeters of secularism – Congress and other parties – are  losing their ground in the country each day. The communal forces are becoming stronger and are making attempts to give the environment a communal colour. In light of these, it is important for Arvind Kejriwal and his Aam Aadmi Party to come to power,” the handout in Hindi and Urdu says.

Without directly referring to the BJP, the campaign material says that division of secular votes has helped the party form government at the Centre and in the states.

Had the election dates been notified the party may have invited charges of poll code violation for allegedly appealing to communal feeling for securing votes.  The pamphlet also gives the printer’s name a miss, a mandatory requirement when the model code of conduct comes into force immediately on announcement of the election schedule.

The two leaders who issued the pamphlets had led the en masse transfer of Janata Dal (Secular) state unit members into AAP in March this year. While Hassan was the JD-S state president, Yamin served as the unit’s vice president.

“Cartons full of pamphlets came to the party office (in East Patel Nagar) on Tuesday. Some of the packets were parcelled off to places like Trilokpuri,” a party worker said. “Some of us had objections with the content.” He added that nearly one lakh pamphlets had arrived.

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