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Troubled Northwest frontier

delhi Updated: Apr 15, 2009 01:58 IST
Anuradha Mukherjee

In Northwest Delhi parliamentary constituency’s Kanjhawala area, roads are being laid at a frenetic pace. But residents are not falling for the sop this time. Those in the rural pockets, especially, want a leader who lives among them and can relate to their problems.

Delhi’s only reserved Lok Sabha seat, Northwest Delhi is one of the three parliamentary constituencies carved out of Outer Delhi.

“Neither Krishna Tirath of Congress nor Meera Kanwaria of BJP will stay with us. They will never know or bother about the problems of villages,” said Raj Singh, a Jahangirpuri-based property dealer and resident of Laadpur village in Kanjhawala.

Pointing to the broken roads and open sewers outside his house, Singh said he was embarrassed to bring visitors home although every room in his house has an air conditioner and his elder son is studying abroad — thanks to the windfall from selling off a portion of his land.

The issues here are better civic amenities, roads, power and water supply.

The Jats in the villages around Mundka, former Chief Minister Sahib Singh Verma’s village, are in a rebellious mood this time. “The Jats here were associated with Sahib Singh, not BJP. The party has insulted us by denying Singh’s son Parvesh the ticket,” said Raj Singh Dabas, a former airman and resident of Laadpur.

Northwest Delhi, like South Delhi, is largely rural with pockets of urban middle class dwellings in Rohini and Rithala, unauthorised colonies in Sanjay Vihar, Yadav Nagar, Budh Vihar and Kirari, and resettlement colonies in Mangolpuri, Sultanpuri, Nangloi and Bawana.

In Rohini, the roads are in a better state and the Metro rail and malls reflect the aspirations of the middle class. Most Rohini residents said their electoral issues were national.

School teacher and Sector 6 resident Anita Kaul supports Congress, which she perceives as secular. “For me, stability, security and peace are more important than anything else. I don’t trust the BJP. I want my children to grow up appreciating that this country is for everybody,” said Kaul.

Her husband, Parveen Kaul, is a BJP die-hard, although he too professes faith in ‘unity in diversity’. “It is the only party that speaks for Hindus,” said Parveen Kaul. With Sajjan Kumar out, this seat might not be an easy picking for Congress any more.