[Hijab-Clad Nikita Nikam of the Congress with Muslim women in Burqa on the campaign trail. (File photo)]
Mumbai: For some Hijab is a symbol of modesty and for others it is a hurdle, bad for women, a sign of fundamentalism, and even a brand extremism. But, for the politicians it comes as a handy tool - don it if situation warranted and snatch it if suited their political interest.
Nikita Nikam of the Congress party did exactly the same. She donned Hijab - the Muslim headscarf or head covering while on the campaign trail. And, when the Electronic Voting Machines started displaying numbers on Thursday, it emerged that Nikita's move was perfectly timed.
According to the results declared by the State Election Commission, Nikita Nikam defeated her former party colleague Waqarunnisa Ansari of the All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) in the Mumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) elections.
Interestingly, while Nikita Nikam donned Hijab to seek support, images of Hillary Clinton in Hijab were circulated during the 2016 US elections to harm her campaign.
Waqarunnisa Anasri - a corporator for the last 03 terms, joined All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) ahead of the 2017 BMC elections after she got the hint that because of hectic lobbying in the Congress she would not be given the party ticket this time.
Owing to her fabulous record at the Mumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), she was considered as one of AIMIM's strongest candidates. This is why a day after the counting day, some media oulets are still reporting that Waqarunnisa Ansari has won the Mumbai elections.
In fact Waqarunnisa Ansari was leading since the round 1 and after consequent counting rounds she was comfortably ahead of her rivals. Such was her lead that the scribes keeping watch on counting of votes flashed the news that Waqrunnisa Ansari won and the AIMIM opened account in Mumbai.
However Nikita Nikam after a slow start, narrowed down the lead in later rounds and by the end of counting she was declared winner.
Party MLA Waris Pathan while talking to ummid.com also confirmed that Waqarunnisa Ansari had lost the election.
It was a disappointment for Asaduddin Owaisi. But, Shahnawaz Sarfaraz Hussain and Gulnaaz Mohd Salim Qureshi saved the day for the AIMIM. They won the BMC elections and became the first AIMIM Corporators to enter the cash-rich Mumbai Municipal Corporators.
The AIMIM also fared well in other parts of Maharashtra winning 11 seats in Amravati, 09 seats in Solapur, 02 seats in Thane and 01 seat each in Akola and Pune civic bodies.