HindustanTimes Sun,21 Sep 2014

Hard choice, close fight in New Delhi

Ritam Halder, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, April 11, 2014
First Published: 00:36 IST(11/4/2014) | Last Updated: 01:21 IST(11/4/2014)

New Delhi parliamentary constituency, which has 10 assembly segments — including areas such as Karol Bagh, Patel Nagar, RK Puram, Greater Kailash and Malviya Nagar — saw healthy queues outside its polling booths almost as soon as voting started.

The constituency has 15 lakh voters and boasts a number of posh bungalows and government colonies that co-exist with smaller middle-class neighbourhoods and slums.

On Thursday, voting in the constituency started with people out for a morning walk exercising their franchise.

The numbers did thin down as the day progressed and fewer people trickled in during the later part as a large number of security personnel kept guard.

Many voters from the constituency shared with Hindustan Times their reasons behind voting for a certain candidate or party. Anjali Choudhury, a 25-year-old resident of Gole Market who works for private company, felt the choice was very difficult for most thinking voters.

“I feel like I had been made to choose the lesser evil. Giving someone new a chance, so that they can come and work, is important. The stress should be on strengthening the roots. Basic education, rather than reservation, is the way forward,” Choudhury said.

Kanta Rawat, a Sarojini Nagar resident in her mid 20s, however, was worried by the scary situation of women’s security in the city.

“Women are not safe in this country, especially in this city. It is one of my primary concerns and has definitely had a bearing on the choice of candidate I voted for,” Rawat said.

The poll fight for the New Delhi seat is a three-pronged one between the sitting MP of Congress Ajay Maken, the BJP’s Meenakshi Lekhi and the Aam Aadmi Party’s (AAP) Ashish Khetan.

While Maken, according to voters, as a two-time MP has done sizeable amount of work, Lekhi, thanks to the Modi factor, has an equal if not good chance of emerging as the winner. Many voters came out and declared that they have voted for NaMo as PM.

Even Khetan,many voters said, should be given an opportunity.

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