The three prominent candidates of the high-profile Greater Kailash assembly constituency are involved in a battle of a different kind — a fight for pride and legacy.At a time when the Congress is in disarray, Kathak dancer Sharmistha Mukherjee, daughter of President Pranab Mukherjee, has been apparently shouldered the responsibility of carrying forward the family’s political legacy.
On the other hand, Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) candidate and former Delhi minister Saurabh Bhardwaj has expectations riding on him to continue his winning streak. The former software engineer gave up his lucrative job in an MNC to join the Arvind Kejriwal-led party.
Also in the fray is BJP candidate and former councillor Rakesh Gullaiya. He was given preference over Ajay Malhotra, son of party veteran professor VK Malhotra, for the ticket from Greater Kailash. Ajay was nominated from the assembly segment in 2013 but lost to Bhardwaj. Gullaiya will have to prove the choice right by winning the seat.
Residents are unfazed by the credentials or lineage of the contenders and want their representatives to be performers. Anant Singh, 54, resident of GK 1, said he will once again vote for AAP. “No one helps clean the blocked drains once voted to power, whether it is Bhardwaj or Gullaiya. One should work for the betterment of people of the constituency,” he said.
Fed up of bad governance, Madan Jindal (44), a trader, said, “Before the 49 days of AAP government, we had seen a corruption-free society only in movies. Kejriwal made it happen in Delhi.”
Gullaiya, though considered a weak candidate, is a familiar face in the area. His wife Sunita is the incumbent councillor from Chirag Delhi.
Some feel the BJP and the Congress have a secret pact to facilitate the victory of the latter’s candidate and so Gullaiya was chosen. Rakesh Agarwal, a shopkeeper in Masjid Moth, trashed the theory. “Rakesh worked here and was approachable. I have only seen Saurabh on TV. I will vote for BJP.”
Greater Kailash comprises posh colonies such as Alaknanda, GK-1and 2, Panchsheel Enclave with urban villages of Zamrudpur and Shahpur Jat.
The issues range from short supply of water, parking troubles, to troublesome sales tax officials. Theft and local goons are growing concerns of all citizens.
The rains were a litmus test for the development work in the constituency. Overflowing sewers, mucky pedestrian paths and caved-in roads confirmed the prevalent neglect.
Pointing at the muddy parking in the GK M-block market, parking attendant Satish Singh says: “What work? The parking is not even cemented, the drains are overflowing and bathrooms are dirty. If M-block suffers, what can you expect in other parts of Delhi?”