NEW DELHI: Falling in the South Delhi Parliamentary constituency, Ambedkar Nagar is a Scheduled Caste reserved seat which is ready for a fierce battle between the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
It was with the Congress since 1993 before falling in the AAP’s kitty in 2013.
Former Congress MLA Prem Singh held the constituency for four terms between 1993 and 2008 till he lost to AAP’s Ashok Kumar Chauhan in 2013.
It has been downhill for the Congress since then as the BJP leapfrogged to the runner up position in 2013 and 2015.
The BJP has placed its trust on Khushi Ram Chunar to take on AAP’s sitting MLA Ajay Dutt. Yaduraj Chaudhary is the Congress candidate.
At ground level, the demolished Bus Rapid Transit corridor, the poor roads leading to localities inside Dakshin Puri and Madangir show signs of dilapidation. Piles of garbage and open sewers make it more than obvious about under development in the constituency.
No wonder that many locals feel that the local AAP legislator has a tough fight in his hand. Jitender Singh, a chemist, pointed at the small iron gates at the entrance towards the residential localities of Dakshin Puri.
“These gates were installed by the AAP in last six months for safety. The pathetic condition of roads is clear and open sewer indicates that the current government hasn’t done much on development,” Jitender said. Another local Puran Chand said though there is an “AAP wave”, the competition is tough from the AAP.
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“BJP candidate Khushi Ram is a strong candidate. He is from Scheduled Caste and connects with a large population in this constituency. Last time, the winning margin was not too wide between him and the AAP candidate. The BJP campaign has been very effective this year,” Chand told this newspaper. Ambedkar Nagar constituency includes half of Deoli, Tikri, Pushp Vikar, Khanpur, Dakshin Puri, Madangir and also the posh Sainik Farms.
The reason behind the AAP’s resonance among a large section of voters in this constituency is the freebies of free electricity and water.
“It was so difficult to live in Delhi because of skyrocketing expenditure on basic essentials, but life is easy ever since the AAP has come in governance. Kejriwal has given the people better education for children, free electricity and water. My electricity bill was exceeding my budget but since we got the facility from the Arvind Kejriwal-led AAP government, I am managing everything,” said Sonia Chaudhary, who runs a boutique at her house in Madangir.
Not all are impressed as Sonia. Hari Ram a transport dealer invoked the words of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, saying that AAP was becoming a hindrance for implementation of the central government schemes.
“The BJP is running the country right now. They have more power to change the lives of people but Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has not allowed the BJP’s schemes to work in Delhi so that he can rule here. We will vote carefully in this election and not fall in any trap,” Ram said.