It seems that two-time MLA from Hari Nagar and minister in the previous BJP government, Harsharan Singh Balli, will not have much problems defeating his Congress rival O.P. Wadhwa. Balli won by a slim margin of 300 votes in 1998. One has to, however, keep in mind the ongoing onion crisis at that time.
Both Balli and Wadhwa are going all out to woo the 1.05 lakh voters — spread over areas like Shiv Nagar, Subhash Nagar and Fateh Nagar — with either their past performance or future promises. A plus point for Balli will be the 32,000-strong community of Sikhs here.
Listing the work done in the past decade as the local MLA, Balli says: “I have got 15 big, 250 small, and eight children’s parks renovated in the area. Thirty-two skating rinks and five gymnasiums were also built. Two stadiums are being constructed,” he said.
Apart from this, he adds that six community centres, a 6 KV power station, 100 transformers, 40 tubewells and several high-mast lights have been set up in the constituency. “I have spent my entire MLA fund,” he claims.
Wadhwa, on the other hand, charges Balli with non-performance. “People here get sewage-laced drinking water. The sewers are choked and roads are in a bad shape. The MLA has done nothing in the past 10 years,” he says.
If elected, Wadhwa promises to improve the condition of hospitals and schools. He also takes credit for many things that Balli has listed as his achievements.
Countering the charges, Balli says: “I am available 24 hours for my electorate. I live in the area while Wadhwa is an outsider,” he said. The Congress candidate lives in nearby Rajouri
Voters agree that the constituency has seen improvement under Balli. “The area has certainly improved in the past few years. But the pace of development could have been faster,” said a Subhash Nagar resident.