Patel Nagar: AAP turncoat Raj Anand makes it a three-cornered contest

The addition of Anand into the fray in New Delhi has added a new dimension to the high-profile constituency.
Residents in these colonies have little to complain about, with the exception of occasional traffic congestion, parking troubles, and mushrooming PGs and hostels.
Residents in these colonies have little to complain about, with the exception of occasional traffic congestion, parking troubles, and mushrooming PGs and hostels.Photo | Express

NEW DELHI: Established after partition as a colony for refugees from Pakistan, Patel Nagar has developed into a posh residential locality with clean, tree-lined streets and parks.

The area is also well connected by metro, with three stations on the Blue Line located in and around Patel Nagar. Residents in these colonies have little to complain about, with the exception of occasional traffic congestion, parking troubles, and mushrooming PGs and hostels.

However, the situation is entirely different in the nearby localities of Baljit Nagar, Ranjeet Nagar, Babu Farid Puri and the village of Shadipur.

Rampant crime, water shortage, poor sanitation, and narrow and congested lanes are among the issues crippling the everyday life of residents.

“Petty crimes like theft have always been a problem here, but now we are seeing more serious crimes like murders. We now advise our daughters to avoid going out after dark,” said Ram Chander, a resident of Baljit Nagar

The Patel Nagar area has been a fortress for the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) over the past decade. The party won all the wards in Patel Nagar in the 2022 MCD elections. It also won the Patel Nagar seat in the last three assembly elections, despite fielding different candidates in each election.

Raj Kumar Anand, a businessman and activist, won the seat by a landslide margin of over 30,000 votes in 2020 on an AAP ticket. His wife, Veen Anand, had previously won the seat in 2013, also on an AAP ticket.

Raj Kumar, also a cabinet minister, resigned from the party on April 10, weeks after Chief Minister Kejriwal’s arrest, citing corruption. He subsequently joined the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) and will contest the polls from the New Delhi Lok Saha constituency, including Patel Nagar.

The addition of Anand into the fray in New Delhi has added a new dimension to the high-profile constituency. The BJP has replaced incumbent MP Meenakshi Lekhi with Bansuri Swaraj, a supreme court lawyer and daughter of former Union Minister Sushma Swaraj.

She will be up against the INDIA alliance candidate, AAP’s Somnath Bharti. Another lawyer, Bharti has won three consecutive elections from the Malviya Nagar assembly.

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