His detractors may take heart from the fact that he is treading an unchartered territory almost 55 per cent of Dr AK Walia’s constituency that got him elected to the Delhi Legislative Assembly thrice has changed. In fact, it not even called Geeta Colony any more. It is now Laxmi Nagar. But the doctor is not worried.
“They (the new voters) are all known to me. Most of them have been my patients for the last 25-30 years at my Walia Nursing Home. The rest are friends and supporters,” he said.
“For us, no other option exists. No other candidate means as much to us as Dr Walia,” said Dr Renu Poddar, who has been living and practising near the Shakarpur area for the 20 years.
Walia, who served as Delhi’s Health Minister and later handled the finance and power departments, claimed it was an already ‘nurtured’ constituency. “I worked a lot in this area during Bhagatji’s (a Congress veteran from East Delhi) time. And as a politician, you never neglect your neighbours,” he said.
“We will stand by Doctor sa’ab, no matter what. We have seen him work, while others have just made empty promises to us,” said Ram Prasad Kandel, Secretary of Ganesh Nagar RWA.
BJP’s Murari Singh Pawar may not enjoy as great a reputation as his counterpart from Congress, but his party does. And after seeing Congress rule them for 10 years, there are some who are looking for a change. “Ten years is a long period, it’s time for a change of government in the Capital,” said Madhur Rana, a resident of Laxmi nagar. “Sealing and price rise are some of the issues that can work against them,” he further added.
“Who says Dr Walia is popular? Just because he has been a minister and got extensive press coverage doesn’t make him popular in the area. We will defeat him with a huge margin; you wait and watch,” said Pawar.