BJP, Congress woo Punjabi, migrant voters in Delhi

May 4th, 2009 - 8:11 pm ICT by IANS  

Bharatiya Janata Party New Delhi, May 4 (IANS) The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Congress candidates from West Delhi constituency largely focussed on wooing Punjabi and other migrants voters in the capital Monday - a day before campaigning for the fourth phase of the general election ends.
Delhi’s seven Lok Sabha constituencies will vote Thursday and Tuesday is the last day for candidates to campaign.

The BJP’s Jagdish Mukhi lured the voters with employment promises and criticised the ruling Congress for rising food prices.

“People are losing jobs, rates of daal-chawal and sugar are very high because of the wrong policies of the Congress. They say inflation is all time low, but how can they ignore the food prices which are all time high,” Mukhi told IANS.

“If we (BJP) are voted to power, we will generate new employment opportunities. And provide rice and wheat at Rs.2 per kg,” he said.

The Congress’ Mahabal Mishra, a three-time sitting legislator, told Poorvanchalis - migrants from east Uttar Pradesh and Bihar - that he keeps them and other communities in the capital at equal footing.

“You must vote for me. I am a humble worker with a firm eye on development. I have a clean image, and that of one among you. I represent a party which has steered Delhi and the nation on paths of happiness and prosperity,” said Mishra.

Mukhi, joined by TV actor Praveen Kumar, popularly known as Bhim of the popular mythological serial “Mahabharat”, campaigned in the Punjabi dominated areas of Tilak Nagar and Rajouri Garden.

Mishra campaigned in Diachoun Kalan, Basai Darapur, Madipur, Nawada, Dwarka, Dabri, Sagarpur, Manglapuri, which are mainly dominated by Poorvanchali and Jat voters and also have a good chunk of Punjabi population. He was also in Rajouri Garden and Tilak Nagar.

The West Delhi had largely a mix of Punjabi and Khatri voters. But after the delimitation, it has added rural voters, new housing societies in Dwarka and a large number of migrant voters in over 100 unauthorised colonies. This new addition of voters has broken its select Punjabi dominance.

Out of 1.638 million, there are 22 percent Poorvanchali voters or migrants. Nine percent are mixed middle income class, 20.58 percent Other Backward Classes (OBC), 13.30 percent Punjabi, 6.44 percent Vaish, 12.62 percent Scheduled Castes, 9.46 percent Brahmins, 9.23 percent Sikhs and 8.57 percent Jats.

After the delimitation, the constituency’s profile encompasses Janakpuri, Hari Nagar, Tilak Nagar and Rajouri Garden from south Delhi and Madipur, Najafgarh from outer Delhi.

Now the constituency has a mix of urban and rural voters with the posh residential areas like Janakpuri, Rajouri Garden, Vikaspuri and Dwarka on one side, and rural areas of Madipur, Matiala and Najafgarh on the other.

The area also has a large percentage of population from unauthorised and regularised colonies falling in Uttam Nagar, Dwarka and Matiala.

Water, electricity, fast running electricity metres and poor road condition are the common problems to both the urban and rural areas in the constituency.

“There is no water in these high-end apartments. If you need water, call the water tankers. You are considered lucky, if a water tanker arrives in a day,” said Sunil Sehgal, a resident of Dwarka Sector 4.

Vani Malhotra, who lives in Uttam Nagar area, said: “Every day people fight with one another over water. Water tanker owners have formed a mafia and they charge money from people to supply water, though it’s a free service from the Delhi Jal Board.”

Rakesh Sharma, another resident, says: “We have regular electricity supply cuts and the new metres which they have installed run like a bullet. It has inflated our monthly budget to a large proportion.”

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