After rising in the ‘East’, will Mishra’s sun set in the ‘West’? | delhi | Hindustan Times
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After rising in the ‘East’, will Mishra’s sun set in the ‘West’?

Being a member of the Purvanchali community may have secured a Lok Sabha ticket for Mahabal Mishra, Congress candidate from West Delhi parliamentary constituency, but winning the seat may prove a tough proposition for him, Anuradha Mukherjee reports.

delhi Updated: Apr 03, 2009 02:40 IST
Anuradha Mukherjee

Being a member of the Purvanchali community may have secured a Lok Sabha ticket for Mahabal Mishra, Congress candidate from West Delhi parliamentary constituency, but winning the seat may prove a tough proposition for him.

Mishra is not worried. He said he would garner the Purvanchali vote as well as the Sikh and Punjabi vote.

“Singh is King — that is the slogan for these elections. Sikhs will vote for Congress, for Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. This will ensure our victory from this seat,” said Mishra.

Party insiders said that while Mishra’s selection as a Lok Sabha candidate might improve Congress’s standing among the Purvanchali voters in some parliamentary constituencies in Delhi, West Delhi was a different game.

West Delhi has long been considered the only part of the city where Bharatiya Janata Party is entrenched — mainly because of a concentration of Punjabi and Sikh residents who have been its loyal supporters.

“The Purvanchali card will benefit Congress the most in East Delhi and Northeast Delhi Lok Sabha seats where Sandeep Dikshit and Jagdish Tytler are contesting, and in South Delhi, where Sajjan Kumar is the party candidate. In his own constituency, Mahabal Mishra will find it difficult to counter BJP’s Jagdish Mukhi, who is a well-established politician from the area, apart from being a Punjabi. Mishra is counting on the migrant vote, but not all of them are Purvanchalis,” said a Congress leader.

The leader also said a large number of migrant workers in West Delhi’s resettlement colonies and slums were from western Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Rajasthan, West Bengal and Orissa.

Mishra, however, said he was going to pitch his campaign around the development work done by the Delhi government and the UPA government’s achievements, such as the nuclear deal.

“I have raised issues like ration cards for migrant workers and Chhath Puja. My work among Purvanchalis has made me a leader of the community. But in Delhi, people really don’t vote on the basis of caste and community. That is the Bharatiya Janata Party’s politics,” said Mishra.