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After 'communal' politics, is AAP's Shazia Ilmi controversy's favourite politician?

Wednesday, 23 April 2014 - 8:36am IST | Place: Mumbai | Agency: dna webdesk

  • Shazia-Ilmi AAP leader Shazia Ilmi dna Research & Archives

In the video, Aam Aadmi Party's Shazia Ilmi is seen asking some Muslim leaders to vote for the AAP instead of the Congress. She says, "Muslims are too secular and should be communal which is for their own good" after which she also adds, "I know it's controversial, but it's also necessary".

"I'm saying Muslims are very secular. Muslims need to be communal. A Muslim isn't communal – doesn't vote for his own. Arvind Kejriwal is one of you. You are too... don't be this secular. Look after your own homes." 

However, after the video of her comments came to light, Ilmi told news channels that the video had been edited and doctored to misrepresent her. She defended herself, saying it was only a play of words, and that she was asking people to vote for Arvind Kejriwal, who is not a Muslim. She went on to say that she was only making fun of people who say that Muslims are communal, and that communalism doesn't mean inciting hatred.

The video, which is being widely shared on social media, has spelled trouble for Ilmi and AAP, as it has been the subject of widespread criticism from people all over.

Read: Does the Shazia Ilmi video expose Aam Aadmi Party's plan to communalise politics for votes?

Ilmi is a founding-member and one of the most popular leaders of the Aam Aadmi Party, which is the anti-corruption political outfit launched by Arvind Kejriwal in November, 2012. She proved her mettle in the Delhi Assembly elections, and lost her seat, RK Puram​, by a mere 326 votes​

In her second battle, Ilmi will take on former Army Chief Gen VK Singh, who is contesting on a BJP ticket, and film actor-turned-politician Raj Babbar of the Congress in Ghaziabad. 


Ilmi's political journey:  

*Three years ago, Shazia Ilmi was a TV journalist.

*She visited Jantar Mantar on the first day of Anna Hazare's fast against corruption in April 2011 and decided to join the movement after being persuaded by Manish Sisodia and Arvind Kejriwal.  

*These three leaders form the core team of the Aam Aadmi Party

*Shazia Ilmi has taking up media handling for the party with strong strategies. 
*A "sting operation", conducted while campaigning for the Delhi assembly elections was on, allegedly showed Ms Ilmi promising favours for money. 


Earlier history:  

*Ilmi was born in a middle class Muslim family in Kanpur in 1970. She has four brothers and a sister. Her father was the founder-editor of the oldest and largest-selling Urdu daily in Kanpur, Siyasat Jadid.

*Her younger brother, Rashid, contested against her as an Independent candidate from RK Puram. Another brother, Aijaz too campaigned against her. 

*She is married to an investment banker, Sajid Malik. 

*She did her schooling from Kanpur and Shimla. Later, she studied Mass Communication from the famous Jamia Milia Islamia University, and has also studied journalism and broadcasting at the University of Wales in Cardiff. 

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