Congress swept away
The anger of the city’s voters was so great that despite the promise to regularise 1,500 illegal colonies and implement the Master Plan, reports Amitabh Shukla.Updated: Apr 08, 2007, 04:17 IST
Traditional bastions of the Congress — unauthorised and resettlement colonies as well jhuggi-jhonpri clusters — fell to the BJP tsunami that hit the city on Saturday as the results of the MCD elections were declared. The anger of the city’s voters was so great that despite the promise to regularise 1,500 illegal colonies and implement the Master Plan, they overwhelmingly voted against the Congress on B-S-P (Bijli, Sadak, Pani) issues and inflation.
“We have won certain seats which the party never won in the last 50 years,” said state BJP president Harsh Vardhan. The BJP leaders said anti-incumbency, combined with issues like sealings, demolitions, price rise, poor governance, and the water and power crisis, broke the hold of the Congress in these seats. The emergence of the Bahujan Samaj Party in east and outer Delhi areas further contributed to the misery of the Congress.
The Bhalswa-Jehangirpuri Assembly segment epitomised the Congress loss. A Congress stronghold for decades, the party lost all six MCD seats in the segment. While the BJP won five, an Independent won the remaining seat. In Sangam Vihar too, it was the BJP instead of the Congress for a change.
The six ministers of the Delhi government too performed badly in their respective areas. Only Education Minister Arvinder Singh Lovely managed to get two of the three Congress candidates elected. “We managed to retain the support base of the party in what seems as an anti-Congress wave,” Lovely told Hindustan Times.
The report card of other ministers was extremely poor. Raj Kumar Chauhan who contests from the traditional Congress stronghold of Mangolpuri managed to get only 2 of the 4 candidates elected. In Yoganand Shastri’s Malviya Nagar, none from the Congress won. For three other ministers – Haroon Yusuf, A.K. Walia and Mangat Ram Singhal, it was one candidate each out of the four in the constituency from where they were elected.
Parliamentary Secretary to the Chief Minister Naseeb Singh and Chief Whip Ramakant Goswami failed to get even a single Congress candidate elected from their Assembly segments. Most of the ministers and Congress leaders who failed in their areas could not be contacted. “The pre-sealing demolition in the areas inhabited by the poor hit the prospects of the Congress badly,” said political analyst Mahesh Rangarajan. He said taxes, collapse of the PDS system and the fact that the party ruled at all the three levels did not go down well with traditional Congress supporters.