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Lok Sabha elections 2019: Purvanchali songs, snacks flavour Delhi Congress candidate Mahabal’s poll trail

Mahabal Mishra began his campaign with supporters giving him bites of litti chokha, a delicacy popular in Bihar, Jharkhand and parts of Eastern Uttar Pradesh.

lok sabha elections Updated: Apr 30, 2019 07:11 IST
Soumya Pillai
Soumya Pillai
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
mahabal mishra,bihar,delhi
Mahabal Mishra (first from left) is back in the electoral fray after a gap of five years. He had won the West Delhi seat in 2009.(HT Photo)

Residents of Palam on Monday welcomed Congress candidate from West Delhi Mahabal Mishra with the song, “jiya ho Bihar ke lala” (long live, son of Bihar) even as Mishra insisted that he was here to serve “everyone irrespective of where they come from”.

Mishra began his campaign with supporters giving him bites of litti chokha, a delicacy popular in Bihar, Jharkhand and parts of Eastern Uttar Pradesh.

“This is the beauty of Delhi, people from across the country come here and become its own. But that was not always the case. There was a time when Purvanchalis were treated as outsiders. It was the Congress that fought for a place for the migrants,” Mishra said, addressing the crowd as they shouted slogans hailing him as the “son of Bihar”.

Though Mishra is back in the electoral fray only after a gap of five years, several young voters in the area did not recognise him. He was the Member of Parliament from West Delhi from 2009 to 2014 before BJP’s Parvesh Verma defeated him. Verma is the BJP candidate again.

Parvati Shukla, 23, who was part of the crowd with her mother and sister, did not know who the Congress candidate was from a crowd of over a dozen people on stage till Mishra was called to speak.

“This will be the first time I vote, last time I was a few months short of turning 18. No one cares for their local candidate here, every family has their political leanings,” Shukla said.

There were many in the crowd who were impressed by Mishra’s promise of a ‘West Campus’ for undergraduate and graduate students but there others who wanted work to speak over “hollow promises”.

“No government focused on West Delhi. We still have to stand in queues to get water from the tankers and during summers, the electricity is off for hours. He was the MP, what did he do?” said Sriniwas Tiwari, a resident of Mahavir Enclave.

He said they have also approached various authorities to close an open drain in the area, which has become a breeding ground for mosquitoes.

“From the Nala Road towards the Palam Colony, there is an open drain where all the residents dump their garbage. The sewer line of the unauthorised colonies also opens into the drain. The smell is so toxic that we can barely stand there,” Tiwari said.

First Published: Apr 30, 2019 06:22 IST

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