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Delhi Cantt.

Residents here complain of broken roads, congestion and poor civic conditions. "The contestants are so busy fighting each other that they hardly have time to listen to us," says a resident.

india Updated: Nov 28, 2003 13:21 IST

No holds barred. That's what the battle for the 75,000-odd votes in Delhi Cantt is all about. Sitting MLA and Congress candidate Kiran Choudhary and BJP nominee and area strongman Karan Singh Tanwar are locked in a fierce smear campaign.

"He is a criminal. He filed a wrong affidavit that has been contested before the SDM. He has encroached upon defence land and does not pay any tax," claims Choudhary.

Denying the charges, Tanwar launches a counter-tirade. "She has got criminals and goons from Haryana who roam the constituency and threaten my supporters. I have made several complaints to the police. Throughout her tenure, she targeted BJP workers and harassed them," he says.

It takes a while to bring him to the issues facing the electorate. "A lot of temples were demolished and roads were closed. No development work has taken place in the last five years," Tanwar, who lost to Choudhary by a margin of 3,000-odd votes last time, said. He had won from here in the 1993 assembly polls.

On her part, Choudhary claims she got Rs 400 crore spent on development works here. "Flyovers have been built. A new 220 KVA grid was built at a cost of Rs 30 lakh. The summer passed off peacefully as water and power supply has improved," she says.

Adding to her problem is former Congress councillor Anil Mitter who is contesting on an NCP ticket and is expected to make a dent in the Congress votes. Since Choudhary's margin of victory was about 3,000 votes, Mitter could affect her poll fortunes.

Residents here complain of broken roads, congestion and poor civic conditions. "The contestants are so busy fighting each other that they hardly have time to listen to us," said Mohan Singh, a resident of Nangal Raya.

"I am the first MLA who has given funds to the Cantt Board to get development work done. Earlier, the Board would delay work but not accept funds from MLAs. This issue was raised in Parliament and they relented," said the MLA.

With areas like Naraina, Delhi Cantt, Sadar, Kirby Place and five villages in the constituency, the contestants could do with some focus on real issues.