In controversial remarks, AAP leader Shazia Ilmi has said that Muslims' votes split as they were "too secular" and they "should become communal" and vote keeping in mind "our own interest".
"Don't be much secular. Muslims are too secular and they should become communal. They are not communal and do not vote for themselves. Arvind Kejriwal is ours. Muslims have remained secular for long. Have voted for the Congress and helped them win. Don't be so secular and look at your house (community) this time.
"Other parties have their votebank intact and Muslim votes split. This is a controversial statement, but we should look at our own interest," Ilmi, AAP candidate from Ghaziabad, purportedly said in a video, in which she is having a conversation with members of the Muslim community.
The video of the AAP leader, who had unsuccessfully contested the last Delhi Assembly election, has become viral on social media.
AAP responded by saying that the party does not endorse such politics, and asked its workers to be careful in their choice of words.
Party leader Manish Sisodia also said that she should not have said such things.
People took to Twitter in hundreds to react to the video. While many expressed disaprroval of her remarks, there were some who also came to her defence.
With her remarks triggering a controversy, Ilmi said she had not made any remark that incited hatred.
"I stand by it. I said, we should think of our community first. When others are not secular then why should we be secular. It is play of words," she told TV channels.
"I said it half sarcastically. Somebody was saying Muslims are very communal. I am saying Muslims are not communal, in fact they are very secular. They need to be communal. This does not mean to incite hatred. They must think of themselves and must not be political slaves.
"What have the political parties done for Muslims in terms of political empowerment and representation in either government or private jobs, education. In terms of economic and political opportunities," she told TV channels.
"I was essentially saying when you cast a vote you want to better your lot. Think of yourself.You cannot be scared of Modi and RSS all the time," she added.