The mood was celebratory at the district election office in Ghaziabad on Tuesday, the last day of filing nominations for the state assembly elections, as candidates arrived with a large number of supporters to file nominations.
A total of 88 candidates from various parties have filed their nominations from the five assembly seats of Ghaziabad district for this election. These include 11 from Loni, 28 from Sahibabad, 17 from Murad Nagar, 20 from Ghaziabad City and 12 from Modi Nagar.
Former Ghaziabad MP, Surendra Prakash Goel, filed his nomination from Murad Nagar seat on a Congress ticket. When Goel arrived at the main entrance of the district election office, Sultan Singh Khari, a former Congressman, touched his feet to take his blessings and wish him luck. Khari, a councillor, got a last-minute ticket from Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) for the Ghaziabad City seat.
“The Congress kicked me out and didn’t offer a ticket. It seems that only the rich and musclemen get tickets. I will take up the area’s issues and try to bring Ganga water and a degree college to the area, apart from getting old sewer lines replaced and ensuring better connectivity between the city and Vijay Nagar areas,” he said.
Later, Samajwadi Party (SP) candidate Rashid Malik, who was in election office to file his nomination, also hugged Goel and requested his support. Malik is contesting his first election as an MLA and has been offered a ticket from Loni. In SP’s two previous lists, his name had figured from Sahibabad and Loni, but he opted for Loni instead.
“SP has worked for development under Akhilesh Yadav. I will go to the people and tell them about the government’s developmental works. I will also try for to bring in Metro rail, better roads and a hospital for Loni,” he said.
Dr Manju Shivach from the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), the only woman candidate fielded by any major political party, also filed her nomination papers on Tuesday. She said she will concentrate on women’s security and development issues in the Modi Nagar assembly constituency.
“There is a lot of work that needs to be done. People in my segment want better roads, electricity, road connectivity to villages and schools for children. My party has given me the responsibility and I will work hard to achieve success,” she added.
Former MLA Sunil Sharma from BJP also filed his nomination papers for the Sahibabad seat that he had lost in the last elections to Amarpal Sharma.
Another former MLA and veteran Congress leader KK Sharma was also present to file his nomination papers from Ghaziabad City. He won the 1985 elections from Ghaziabad and was recently selected by the Congress to once again contest from the seat.
“I have seen the city since the time it consisted of only a few settlements. Now it has grown, but people still want a better and responsive system for their problems. We have problems of ration cards, degree colleges for women, and better road infrastructure. I will work in a better manner for undeveloped areas,” he added.