“Bharat ka rehne wala hoon, Bharat ki baat sunata hoon”.
The BJP’s Vijay Goel did a Manoj Kumar trying to connect to the urban poor of Kotla Mubarakpur, during one of his many campaign rallies on Sunday. The crowd responded wholeheartedly, singing along and clapping.
Goel harped on inflation and unemployment, targeting both the poor and middle-class voters. “During the BJP government’s rule, you could buy sugar for Rs 18 a kg. But today you have to shell out Rs 30,” he said. “Inflation has increased and so has your electricity bill because of faulty meter’s.”
“The Congress had promised 1 crore jobs every year, but today 1.5 crore are losing their jobs every year,” he said. “The threat of terrorism is real and knocking on your door. But the government refuses to acknowledge it.”
He also tried to establish his rural connection. “I might have studied from Sri Ram College of Commerce. But I am a simple villager like all of you,” he said. “I am not a drawing-room politician. Unlike Ajay Maken, who has not visited you even five times in five years, I am always available to you.”
Goel promised to improve sewers in Kotla Mubarakpur and its adjoining colonies. “If you have sewer water in drinking-water taps, I will take that water to Parliament and show them how people in my constituency are suffering,” he said.
But for the residents who have lived in the filth of leaking sewers for years, his words sounded hollow. “The sewer line was laid near Sitla Mata Mandir in Prem Nagar almost five years ago. But till now the road hasn’t been rebuilt and is always submerged in drain water,” complained Ratan Lal, a 24-year-old resident of Kotla Mubarakpur. “Goel is from the BJP. But still the MCD has done nothing for us,” he added.
However, there were others who bought his line of terrorism and unemployment.
“It is true that these two issues have affected our lives and the Congress has failed to address them. Perhaps we need a change of representatives,” said Naresh Sharma (49), a contractor from South Ex-I.