‘Feel proud to have been a chaiwala like PM Modi’, says newly elected North Delhi mayor
Avtar Singh, 54, who was on Monday elected mayor of the North Delhi Municipal Corporation, prides himself on having been a chaiwala (tea-seller) for 10 years before becoming a councillor. His east counterpart, Anju Kamalkant, is a homemaker from Vishwas Nagar.
The north and east municipalities, both ruled by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), on Monday chose their third mayors in their five-year term that began in 2017.
The mayors, deputy mayors and three members of their respective standing committees are changed annually. The South Delhi Municipal Corporation had chosen councillor Sunita Kangra, a teacher, as mayor on Friday.
Owing to financial hardships, Avtar Singh and his wife ran a tea stall called ‘Tea Peepal Meridien’ under a tree at Chabi Ganj in Kashmere Gate from the year 1990 to 2000. “I feel proud to have been a chaiwalla like Prime Minister Narendra Modi,” said Singh, who belongs to the Sikh Malhar community and is Delhi’s first Sikh Dalit mayor.
Singh, who studied in a municipality school, said “improving the standard of education in corporation schools” would be his priority after taking charge. “The safety of children attending municipal schools has to be made a priority. Vocational classes for them are important as they come from economically weaker sections and are looking for livelihood options,” said Singh, councillor from Civil Lines.
Anju Kamalkant said she will focus on improving the financial condition of the east corporation and sanitation in east Delhi. “We all know EDMC has been in a poor financial situation. We are constantly interacting with the AAP-led Delhi government to provide more funds to us. Also, since sanitation is the municipality’s main job and residents look up to us for clean dhalaos and drains, we have to work towards it,” she said.
In north Delhi, Yogesh Verma of Ashok Vihar ward from BJP became the new deputy mayor. Adesh Gupta (BJP), Jai Prakash (BJP) and Ravinder Bhardwaj (AAP) were elected as the three new members of the north corporation’s standing committee.
In east Delhi, Sanjay Goyal of the Vivek Vihar ward from the BJP became the new deputy mayor. Bipin Bihari Singh (BJP), Ajay Sharma (BJP) and Abdul Rahman (AAP) were elected as the three new members of the east corporation’s standing committee.