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Next polls, periphery to be in centre of politics

The report of the delimitation commission suggests that of the 70 Assembly segments, 39 would either be in unauthorised colonies or urban villages, reports Amitabh Shukla.
Hindustan Times | By Amitabh Shukla
UPDATED ON FEB 15, 2008 03:57 AM IST

In the next Assembly elections in Delhi, slated to be held in December this year, the unauthorised and resettlement colonies will set the agenda of the Delhi government and its politics.

The report of the delimitation commission, which would be the basis of the new political map of the city, suggests that of the 70 Assembly segments, 39 would either be in unauthorised colonies or urban villages.

In the new exercise, a population of 1,97,800 has been kept as the basis for demarcation of the new constituencies. Around 65 per cent of them are voters ensuring that each assembly segment has no more than around 1.25 lakh voters.

The redrawn boundaries of the 70 assembly segments in Delhi will force some of the ministers and MLAs to groom fresh areas for getting elected. Almost all the ministers, including Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit, will have newly added areas to their constituency and deletion of some of the older areas. Nine new constituencies have been created while nine have been deleted from the political map as well.

Dikshit’s constituency of Gole Market will now be called New Delhi. Gole Market, hitherto, had both the MCD and the NDMC areas. The new constituency will now be entirely in the NDMC area and her voters would primarily be government employees.

Finance and Power Minister AK Walia’s Geeta Colony constituency has been removed from the electoral map. He will have to fight the next election from the newly created Laxmi Nagar or Krishna Nagar where his present voters have been listed. Part of Walia’s constituency has been added to BJP state unit president Harsh Vardhan’s Krishna Nagar constituency. The new look Krishna Nagar would still suit Vardhan due to the profile of the area.

Education Minister Arvinder Singh’s Gandhi Nagar has some new Muslim dominated pockets. PWD and UD Minister Raj Kumar Chauhan and Transport Minister Haroon Yusuf have retained most of their constituencies. Health Minister Yoganand Shastri will have new areas in his constituency, as his Malviya Nagar segment would include Hauz Khas.

The leaders whose political fortunes would be severely affected include chief whip of the Congress, Ramakant Goswami, and three-time MLA Bheesham Sharma. Goswami’s Patel Nagar constituency has become a reserved one while Sharma’s constituency Ghonda has been removed.

NCP state unit president Ramvir Singh Bidhuri’s Tughlaqabad constituency would be trifurcated. However, Leader of Opposition in Delhi Assembly Jagdish Mukhi’s stronghold of Janakpuri has new rural areas added to it.

Chattar Singh, member of the Delimitation Commission, said the demarcation reflects the new political realities of the city. “Population has shifted to the periphery of the city in Outer and East Delhi and they have the maximum number of seats as per the population,” he said.

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