Udit Raj’s last-minute shift to Cong adds twist to North West Delhi polls
The BJP has fielded popular Punjabi Hans Raj Hans, preferring him over the incumbent Udit Raj, who then joined the Congress. The Congress is banking on one of its three working presidents and two-time MLA Rajesh Lilothia, who is the party’s known Dalit face. Udit Raj, who has a strong support base in the area, said he will campaign for Lilothia.Updated: May 11, 2019 21:15 IST
The North West Delhi Lok Sabha constituency, which goes to polls on May 12 in the sixth phase of parliamentary elections, is a mix of unauthorised colonies, middle class urban areas, an industrial belt and a swathe or rural areas.
Understandably, the demographic profile of the voters is equally varied in this seat reserved for Scheduled Castes.
The constituency of 23.7 lakh voters has a sizeable Scheduled Caste population, roughly 22% of the voter base. The villages are dominated by Jats and Brahmins, while unauthorised colonies and slums have mostly Scheduled Caste and Muslim voters.
The BJP has fielded popular Punjabi Hans Raj Hans, preferring him over the incumbent Udit Raj, who then joined the Congress. The Congress is banking on one of its three working presidents and two-time MLA Rajesh Lilothia, who is the party’s known Dalit face. Udit Raj, who has a strong support base in the area, said he will campaign for Lilothia.
The AAP has fielded Gugan Singh, a former BJP MLA from Bawana. Singh had contested the 2015 assembly election but lost to AAP’s Ved Prakash. Singh joined AAP in 2017 when the BJP denied him a ticket for the Bawana bypoll.
In 2009, a year after it was created,the Congress’s Krishna Tirath clinched North West Delhi for the first time. The sitting MP, Udit Raj, bagged the seat on a BJP ticket in the 2014 Lok Sabha polls, defeating AAP’s Rakhi Birla by 1.06 lakh votes. Tirath was at the third spot in 2014. With Raj backing the Congress, the contest is set to be interesting.
The constituency was carved out of Outer Delhi constituency in 2008 and reserved for Scheduled Caste candidates. Ten assembly constituencies — Bawana, Rithala, Mundka, Nangloi Jat, Mangol Puri, Rohini, Sultan Pur Majra, Narela, Badli and Kirari— come under this seat.
The delimitation period coincided with migration of Purvanchalis – people from eastern Uttar Pradesh and Bihar — across Delhi. A large chunk of the Dalit community from within Purvanchalis settled in areas under North West Delhi. With this, Dalit population in areas that were now under North West Delhi seat became highest in proportion compared to others.
While civic issues and facilities are the key issues in the urban areas of the constituency, in the rural belt, people say they need hospitals, better transport, higher education institutions, especially for girls, and lower electricity tariff for tube wells.
BJP’s Hans says, “Hospitals, social security, pollution control and improvement of water supply will be the key issues I would like to address.”
AAP’s Singh says he was aware of the problems in the constituency. “I have worked in the Indo-Tibetan Border Police) so I know how to obey an order. In a similar fashion, I will obey orders of the voters here. Full statehood, lack of higher education institution will be some of the issues I will focus on,” Singh said.
The Congress has promised better basic amenities while attacking the ruling party over the sealing drive.
|Gopalganj||Janak Ram, BJP|
|Siwan||Om Prakash Yadav, BJP|
|Maharajganj||Janardan Singh Sigriwal, BJP|
|Paschim Champaran||Dr. Sanjay Jaiswal, BJP|
|Purvi Champaran||Radha Mohan Singh, BJP|
|Sheohar||Rama Devi, BJP|
|Vaishali||Rama Kishore Singh, LJP|
|Valmiki Nagar||Satish Chandra Dubey, BJP|
|Bhind||Dr. Bhagirath Prasad, BJP|
|Bhopal||Alok Sanjar, BJP|
|Guna||Jyotiraditya Scindia, Congress|
|Gwalior||Narendra Singh Tomar, BJP|
|Morena||Anoop Mishra, BJP|
|Sagar||Laxmi Narayan Yadav, BJP|
|Vidisha||Sushma Swaraj, BJP|
|Rajgarh||Rodmal Nagar, BJP|
|South Delhi||Ramesh Bidhuri, BJP|
|West Delhi||Parvesh Sahib Singh Verma, BJP|
|East Delhi||Maheish Girri, BJP|
|Chandni Chowk||Harsh Vardhan, BJP|
|North West Delhi||Udit Raj, BJP|
|North East Delhi||Manoj Tiwari, BJP|
|New Delhi||Meenakshi Lekhi, BJP|
|Ambala (SC)||Rattan Lal Kataria, BJP|
|Kurukshetra||Raj Kumar Saini, BJP|
|Sirsa (SC)||Charanjeet Singh Rori, INLD|
|Hisar||Dushyant Chautala, JJP|
|Karnal||Ashwini Kumar Chopra, BJP|
|Sonipat||Ramesh Chander Kaushik, BJP|
|Rohtak||Deepender Hooda, Congress|
|Gurgaon||Rao Inderjit Singh, BJP|
|Faridabad||Krishan Pal Gurjar, BJP|
|Allahabad||Shyama Charan Gupta, BJP|
|Ambedkar Nagar||Hariom Pandey, BJP|
|Azamgarh||Mulayam Singh Yadav, SP|
|Basti||Harish Dwivedi, BJP|
|Badohi||Virendra Singh, BJP|
|Domariyaganj||Jagdambika Pal, BJP|
|Jaunpur||KP Singh, BJP|
|Lalganj||Neelam Sonkar, BJP|
|Machhlishahr||Ram Charitra Nishad, BJP|
|Phulpur||Nagendra Pratap Singh Patel, SP|
|Pratapgarh||Kuwar Harivansh Singh, Apna Dal|
|Sant Kabir Nagar||Sharad Tripathi, BJP|
|Shrawasti||Daddan Mishra, BJP|
|Sultanpur||Varun Gandhi, BJP|
|Dhanbad||Pashupati Nath Singh, BJP|
|Giridih||Ravindra Kumar Pandey, BJP|
|Jamshedpur||Vidyut Baran Mahto, BJP|
|Singhbhum||Laxman Gilua, BJP|
|Bankura||Moon Moon Sen, Trinamool Congress|
|Bishnupur||Saumitra Khan, Trinamool Congress|
|Jhargram||Uma Saren, Trinamool Congress|
|Ghatal||Deepak Adhikari, Trinamool|
|Kanthi||Sisir Adhikari, Trinamool Congress|
|Medinipur||Sandhya Roy, Trinamool Congress|
|Purulia||Mriganko Mahato, Trinamool|
|Tamluk||Dibyendu Adhikari, Trinamool Congress|
First Published: May 11, 2019 16:51 IST