The purvanchali voter pie in Delhi has another claimant in the Nitish Kumar’s Janta Dal (United). The party will contest at least 150 of the 272 wards in the April 22 Delhi municipal elections.
The party plans to field candidates in areas where the purvanchalis (migrants from eastern UP and Bihar) are a significant part of the population. Traditionally the supporters of the Congress, the community backed the AAP in the 2015 assembly elections. AAP has around a dozen MLAs from the region.
The party will bank on its most popular leader, Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar, for its campaign. Apart from showcasing the development in Bihar under the leadership of NItish, JD(U) may also promise liquor ban to the voters in Delhi.
Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar will be in Delhi to support candidate of Janta Dal (United), who are contesting in Delhi’s civic polls. Eyeing Purvanchalis voters, the JDU will contest in rural areas and unauthorised colonies and the party plans to present Bihar model and raise issue of liquor ban.
“We spoke to our traditional voters in Delhi and they are not happy with the performance of AAP,” said Sanjay Jha, national general secretary of the party.
“They had voted for AAP since we supported them. Now, they want us to contest and that is why we will field our candidates in the civic polls. Besides NItish Kumar, party MLAs and MPs will also campaign in Delhi,” Jha said.
There are an estimated 40 lakh voters from the purvanchal region in Delhi. There are a number of assembly constituencies where the purvanchalis form more than 30 per cent of the population. They are Dwarka, Vikaspuri, Patparganj, Uttam Nagar, RK Puram, Badli. Matiala and Laxmi Nagar among others.
“Nitishji will address two rallies in south and north Delhi on April 9. We will focus on outer Delhi and in colonies where migrants live. We have already conducted 250 small meetings and are getting a positive response. BJP is facing anti-incumbency, Congress is nowhere in the picture and the AAP failed to make any impact in two years. All this will help us,” Jha said.
JD(U) will also focus on Narela, Burari, Kirari, Seelampur, Badarpur, Sangam Vihar and Matia Mahal.
“People from eastern UP, Bihar are a big vote bank. But, they don’t get proportionate representation in power,” said another party leader.
“We will field candidates with a strong local connect,” he added.