Unstoppable wannabes versus immovable biggies
If the fight for the New Delhi seat had become a political circus of sorts with 24 people fighting against Shiela Dikshit, the Greater Kailash contest is equally colourful, reports Sidhartha Roy.delhi Updated: Nov 18, 2008 23:42 IST
If the fight for the New Delhi seat had become a political circus of sorts with 24 people fighting against Shiela Dikshit, the Greater Kailash contest is equally colourful.
Ten people are pitted against biggies like BJP's chief ministerial candidate VK Malhotra and Jitender Kochchar of the Congress from the Greater Kailash constituency. Coming from diverse backgrounds, these candidates are providing enough masala to the electoral battle.
Sunita Chaudhary of the Panthers Party -- Delhi's only woman autorickshaw driver - is contesting an election for the second time. "I lost the last election but I am going to win this time," she said. She plans autorickshaw rallies to gather support for her and claims her fellow drivers are with her.
Most other candidates are relying on door-to-door campaigning. "I don't have much money so I meet everyone personally," said Chander Kala, an Independent candidate. But does the first-timer believe she could defeat Malhotra? "Only time can tell," she said.
The line-up of candidates includes professionals who said they were fighting to bring about a change.
"I have been working in the social sector for quite some but the only way you can bring change at the policy level is by entering politics," said Surya Prakash Loonker, a electronics and telecom engineer and an MBA from the US. Loonker is a member of Bharat Punarnirman Dal, a party formed by IITians.
Rai Anoop Prasad runs a few call centres for private banks and is fighting an election for the first time. Why Greater Kailash? "I live in Tara Apartments and want to highlight the problems in our area," he said.
Prasad, who is fighting on a National Secular Party ticket, knows it is almost impossible to defeat Malhotra or Kochchar but that perhaps is not the idea. "It may not be easy but at least we can give them a fight," he said. "It is an effort to raise issues that concern our area," he said.
While Prasad wants to improve conditions in middle class areas, Harish Bhardwaj, an Independent, wants to highlight problems in the villages.
"None of the big parties have done anything for the improvement of areas like Chirag Dilli, Shahpur Jat or Zamrudpur," Bhardwaj said. He is confident residents of these villages will support him. Bhardwaj has prepared his own manifesto and is informing the electorate by distributing pamphlets.