It was with much fanfare that the Congress had announced its decision to field yuva netas in the MCD elections. In the end, the move failed as a vote drought consumed the young crop.
Delhi University Students Union (DUSU) president Amrita Dhawan, who contested the election from Vikaspuri, lost the elections by 416 votes. “I am disappointed with the results, but I take this defeat as a challenge. A certain quarter of our supporters let us down… I am glad that the party recognised our efforts and ability. There is always a next time,” said Dhawan.
National Students Union of India (NSUI) leader Amit Malik, who contested the elections from Narela ward, was defeated by around 1,200 votes. “I think my defeat can be attributed to the strong anti-Congerss wave in the city. I don’t think being a first-timer was a drawback… a lot of senior Congress leaders too were not able to retain their seats,” said Malik.
MLA Mukesh Goel’s nephew Rahul Sharma too lost his seat from Vikas Nagar, by a margin of 100 votes. “There was a strong anti-incumbency factor that worked in Congress’ favor. Congress has been in power for a long time now and Delhiites were looking for a change,” he said.
Sharma said the decision of the State EC not to allow ration cards as proof of identify had prevented a lot of people from casting votes. “In my area, there is a sizeable population staying in low-income colonies and jhuggi jhopri clusters. People staying in slums would not have passports… ration cards are the only authentic document for them,” he said.
Other Congress youth leaders who faded away include Rohit Chaudhury, who lost from Quammruddin Nagar, and Shashikant Sharma, who was defeated from Sangam Vihar.