Former Delhi mayor and Congress’s expelled politician Satbir Singh is the new batsman in Mehrauli who is hoping to hit a six in the upcoming elections. Contesting as an Independent candidate, Singh’s election symbol is that of a ‘batsman’.
On Monday evening, as Singh drove into his constituency’s Jatav basti on a well-decorated two-wheeler, his supporters raised slogans of “Satbir nahin ye Dhoni hai, jeet issi ki honi hai.” (He is not Satbir, he is Mahinder Singh Dhoni. He will definitely win).
A dissident who decided to leave Congress after being denied a ticket, he is taking on his old party colleague and Delhi health minister Yoganand Shastri, Bahujan Samaj Party’s Ved Mann and Bharatiya Janata Party's Shree Singh Dagar.
Singh has earlier won municipal elections three times in a row from Mehrauli and is also the sitting municipal councillor. He has a dozen MCD schools and an upcoming MCD hospital to his credit. “He is so involved with the area that even when he was chosen as Mayor he refused to accept the Mayor house and continued to live in Mehruli,” said K.K. Gupta, a resident of Kishen Garh.
With over 1.5 lakh voters, Mehrauli is a large constituency comprising Masoodpur, Katwaria Sarai, Ber Sarai, Lado Sarai, Kishen Garh and Vasant Kunj’s D block.
The constituency is largely dominated by Jats but also has a significant SC/ST population. Irregular water supply is the biggest problem in the area.
All the five major political parties have placed Jat candidates in the area, of whom only Satbir Singh is a resident of Mehruli. This, most residents claim, is likely to work for him. “He is the most approachable candidate,” said Ram Kumar, a resident of Masoodpur.
Addressing a crowd of over 100 people, Singh said they must chose him, as he lives amongst them and can be approached anytime of the day. “The Congress and BJP candidates are outsiders. They do not know your problems. Even approaching them is a not easy. They have big dogs at their gates who may bite you,” Singh said.
“We like Singh the most for his down to earth and approachable nature. Even when he was Delhi’s Mayor he used to play cards with us in the central park in the evenings,” said B.S. Satya, a resident of the area.