NEW DELHI: A pocket on the northeast border of Delhi, Seemapuri has often been in the news for petty crime, especially theft and snatching incidents. Hence, it goes without saying that safety and security is a key issue of voters in the ensuing Assembly elections. However, apart from safety, work on upgrading the prevailing infrastructure at government schools over the last five years and national issues such as Citizenship (Amendment) Act has also been hogging the local discourse going into the elections.
Locals at GTB Enclave, which comes within the ambit of this constituency, believe that the ruling Aam Aadmi Party and its principal rival in the capital, the Bharatiya Janata Party, are in for a tough contest for the seat. The Congress, too, has fielded local heavyweight and three-time MLA Veer Singh Dhingana.
“I believe whichever party forms the government should focus on providing more amenities to senior citizens. ‘Mukhyamantri Tirth Yatra Yojana’ (AAP scheme enabling the elderly to go on a pilgrimage at government expense) is good but it has been stopped. However, one can’t solely blame the Delhi government for this. I believe this government has done enough for the welfare of the people. I will vote on the government’s work over the last five years,” Ram Gopal, an elderly from Jagatpuri Extension said.
AAP MLA upbeat
Sitting AAP MLA and Social Welfare Minister Rajendra Pal Gautam said he is confident of retaining the seat by an even bigger margin than what he secured in the 2015 elections. “Our government has done a lot for the people of my constituency. However, there are a few issues, especially theft and snatching incidents, which need to be looked into. I am confident of surpassing my previous victory margin,” Gautam said.
Nationalism a poll clincher?
Sanjay Singh, an electrician, said he will vote on prevailing national issues as well. “Look what’s happening at JNU? Studies have taken a back seat. The economy is also in bad shape as jobs are very hard to come by. The central government isn’t focusing enough on the state of the economy. However, I believe the Delhi government has worked sincerely for the people as well as public schools,” Singh said.
Will BJP’s colony pitch work?
With the constituency home to a large number of unauthorised colonies, the BJP’s campaign around the Centre’s decision to accord ownership status to residents of such colonies seems to be gaining traction among voters. While some questioned the timing of the announcement, coming as it did just before the poll date was out, most lauded the Modi government for the move. The BJP, which is contesting the polls in alliance with the Lok Janshakti Party (LJP), has fielded Sant Lal Chawariya in this reserved seat. Chawariya represents its ally. Om Pal Chauhan, who owns a garment shop in the Jagatpuri Extension area, said, “One doubts if the schemes announced would be continued after the elections. I feel Kejriwal is standing with those who are anti-India.”