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Jamaat-e-Islami Hind asks Muslims to support Arvind Kejriwal's Aam Aadmi Party
Monday January 6, 2014 7:15 PM, News Network

The Jamaat-e-Islami Hind on Sunday endorsed the Arvind Kejriwal-led Aam Aadmi Party and appealed the Muslims to support the newly-born party which created a storm by forming the government in Delhi after winning the recent assembly election.

The JIH also asked the community to shun the Congress, a move likely to worry the grand old party that is counting on minorities to stem anti-incumbency.

This is the first time since the Jamaat's participation in elections in 2002 that it has come out so strongly against the Congress.

"Muslims now strongly feel they should reconsider their position regarding Congress," Hindustan Times quoted Jamaat's secretary general Maulana Nusrat Ali as saying.

"The formation of Aam Aadmi Party's government in Delhi is generally being welcomed in the country. We consider these new trends as notable and reassuring", he added.

The Jamaat, like many Muslim organisations, was initially cagey in its support for the anti-corruption agitation led by Anna Hazare and Kejriwal, preferring to adopt a wait-and-watch policy.

But virtually endorsing AAP on Sunday, the Jamaat said the 15-month-old party had emerged as a new alternative.

"The feeling of the Muslim community is getting stronger that they should reconsider their position regarding Congress, which is neglecting them," Ali said.

"We have to wait for the moment where AAP will be able to convince the larger Muslim community. The Jamaat's political standing isn't very strong, but it is the single religious organisation which can impact voting in north India," said Sanjeer Alam, an assistant professor at the Delhi-based Centre for the Study of Developing Societies.

Commenting on the decision, Kaleem Kawaja, a Washington based activist in a statement sen to wrote, "The JIH should give its unconditional support to AAP based on it's manifesto and program, and for being justice oriented. It should not attach strings and put conditions as that can cause a reaction from many in AAP."

"We should allow AAP to remain unattached to any religion based positions or to become a political football of groups that use religion in the political process", he added.

"More than anyone Muslims will benefit from keeping religion out of the political process. Ofcourse justice and fairplay is the basic requirement from any party or group that wants to take part in the political mainstream", he said.

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