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Delhi polls: BJP speaks up for slum residents on Sheila turf

HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, November 17, 2013
First Published: 23:57 IST(17/11/2013) | Last Updated: 00:00 IST(18/11/2013)

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is going all out to give a tough fight to chief minister Sheila Dikshit in her home turf, the New Delhi constituency.

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The party plans to highlight the lack of basic infrastructure such as drinking water supply and sanitation in slum clusters located in the posh Lutyens’ zone under the New Delhi constituency.

On Sunday, BJP’s chief ministerial candidate Harsh Vardhan visited two slum clusters in the backyard of Race Course Road and Aurangzeb Road and highlighted the “deplorable conditions” in the vicinity of VVIP residences.

Referring to Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi’s rally near a slum colony in Dakshipuri in south Delhi, Vardhan said: “The venue had been selected to secure the votes of people living in slums falling under the Ambedkar Nagar and Deoli Assembly constituencies. While Rahul Gandhi delivered a touching speech about the plight of the poor and deprived people, he did not mention anything about 4,000 poor people of Bhaiya Ram Camp, opposite the official residence of the Prime Minister at 7, Race Course Road, who are living without any basic amenities,” Vardhan said.

Taking a pot shot at Dikshit, he asked why her government could not provide basic facilities such as sanitation and water supply to residents of these areas.

“The conditions prevailing in these slums are extremely poor. Somebody has to own up...These areas are near the prime minister’s residence and the government must take responsibility,” said Vardhan.

People living in these slums spoke about drinking water and toilets during Vardhan’s visit to the area. Quoting a resident of BR Camp, Vardhan said water in these slums was not fit for drinking and caused stomach ailments. “In the slum cluster on Aurangzeb Lane, there are only two toilets for 800-odd residents dwelling there,” he added.

“It is surprising that the chief minister, who makes tall claims about the development of Delhi, has not provided basic amenities such as water, toilets, roads, cheap ration, health, education to slum dwellers in her own constituency,” added Vardhan.

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