Delhi assembly elections 2020: The Bharatiya Janata Party on Friday alleged that Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal inducted five-time MLA Shoaib Iqbal only to pursue Muslim vote bank politics. Addressing a press conference, BJP national spokesperson Sambit Patra said AAP hired the same Shoaib Iqbal who had once vowed to land Arvind Kejriwal in jail.
“Shoaib Iqbal has cases of murder, dacoity, possession of deadly weapons.. rioting. His son Mohammed had recently threatened PM Modi near Jama Masjid by wanting to implement Sharia law. This show AAP clearly wants to polarize voters,” Patra alleged.
Shoaib Iqbal, who is also an ex-deputy speaker of Delhi Vidhan Sabha on Thursday joined the Aam Aadmi Party in presence of Chief Minister and AAP’s national convenor Arvind Kejriwal on Thursday.
Apart from Iqbal, two Congress MCD councilors — Aley Mohammed Iqbal and Sultana Abadi — also joined the AAP, the party said in a statement.
Being an MLA for five consecutive terms before losing to AAP in 2015, Iqbal has a stronghold in the Matia Mahal constituency in Delhi. He contested and won the 2013 assembly elections from JD(U).
His joining the AAP has sparked speculation that he would be fighting the upcoming assembly polls from Matia Mahal constituency.
Sources said the party has been looking for a prominent face to woo the Muslim population of the national capital and Iqbal was willing to join the AAP.
The joining comes ahead of assembly elections in Delhi slated for February 8. The counting of votes will take place on February 11.
Kejriwal said Iqbal and his team will strengthen the work that AAP has done for the poor in Delhi.
“His addition in the party will help take forward the development that AAP always believes in and is devoted to,” he said.
Iqbal lauded the Kejriwal-led AAP government for its pro-people initiatives and schemes for the welfare of all communities.
“AAP has worked towards the welfare and development of the downtrodden as well as the Dalit communities in Delhi. I have full faith in the strength of the party. It will come back with record breaking win of 70/70 assembly seats,” Iqbal said.
“I have worked with Arvind Kejriwal ji during his 49-days government in Delhi. His attitude towards work is commendable. I believe people are fed up with the corruption and lies of the BJP, which can be witnessed in the recent elections in states like Jharkhand and Maharashtra,” he added.
(With additional information from PTI)