Kejriwal's AAP forms task force to win the trust of Muslims
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After its poor performance in Muslim-dominated areas of the capital in the Assembly elections, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) has formed a task force in an effort to gain the community's trust before the Lok Sabha elections.
AAP's National Executive and Political Advisory Committee member Sanjay Singh said, "We realised that the party did not perform well in the Muslim-dominated areas. I feel that the reason for this was that they did not trust us since we were a new party but now they have seen how we have done and I'm hopeful they will now trust us."
According to Singh, the task force will have four members, who will look at ways to reach out to Muslim voters in the run-up to the general elections. The members are Okhla candidate Irfanullah Khan, RK Puram candidate Shazia Ilmi, senior leader Ashish Talwar and national general secretary Pankaj Gupta.
Singh said after the election results, Muslims had begun to see the AAP as an alternative to the Congress and BJP. "They have traditionally voted for the Congress... We will change this," he said.
Jamiat Ulema-e-Hind general secretary Maulana Mahmood Madani, however, said the AAP still had a long way to go. "There is still a question mark on whether Muslims will trust the party. Its success in Delhi cannot become a model for its national triumph. However, I will not rule out its chances completely," he said.
Confident of gaining the support of Muslim voters in the Lok Sabha elections, Irfanullah Khan said, "Muslims have been misguided by the Congress for long but they continued to vote for the party because there was no alternative. The AAP has filled that void and I'm 100 per cent sure we will win their trust in the Lok Sabha elections."
The party fielded candidates in three Muslim-dominated constituencies of Old Delhi's Ballimaran, Matia Mahal and Chandni Chowk; along with Seelampur, Okhla and Mustafabad.