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Auto driver’s wife wanted no lesser rival than CM

india Updated: Dec 07, 2013 13:35 IST
Manoj Sharma
Manoj Sharma
Hindustan Times
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She might be considered just another minnow in the fray for the Delhi Assembly polls, but 53-year-old Lila Devi believes the tougher the challenge the better.

Wife of an auto-driver and a resident of Nabi Karim area in the Walled City, Lila is pitted against Congress’ Sheila Dikshit, AAP’s Arvind Kejriwal and BJP’s Vijender Gupta in the high-profile New Delhi constituency.

This is the second time that she is contesting against Dikshit. She had got 95 votes in the electoral contest against the Delhi CM in 2008.

Lila had contested the 2009 parliamentary elections from Chandni Chowk and got 1,614 votes. When asked about the choice of her constituency, she said: “There is no fun in fighting minnows. In fact, I fought against Sheila Dikshit in 2008 too, and even met her to request her to vote for me. She smiled and promised to do so.”

“I hope to do better this time. But it’s the experience of fighting against the bigwigs, and not the result that matters to me,” said Lila, a mother of five. She undertook mostly door-to-door campaigning and distributed pamphlets.

For the past one month, she finished household chores pretty early. After packing her husband’s lunch in the morning, she used to leave for campaigning.

She spent about Rs 10,000 on printing pamphlets. “The money came from donations from my neighbours and well-wishers.”

“There is no better way to connect with people than meeting them personally. In fact, people are very supportive, and while most of them promise to vote for me, there were some who told me they would only vote for my rival, Sheila Dikshit,” said Lila.

She raised issues such as lack of drinking water in areas like Gole Market and the price rise. “Inflation has made lives of people very difficult; besides, there is drinking water problem in Gole Market. The chief minister should have been able to solve it in past 15 years,” she said.

Did her family campaign for her? “My husband is supportive and so are my sons; but I cannot afford to use his auto for election purposes because someone has to earn. My son dropped me at Gole Market on his bike and picked me up in the evening every day. They are confident I will win one day,” she said.