High-Profile Nirman Bhavan Polling Stations Displays Stark Hues of Support

At Nirman Bhawan, one of Delhi\'s high -profile polling stations the divide between two distinct groups of voters was starker than ever.

Published: 07th February 2015 08:20 PM  |   Last Updated: 07th February 2015 08:20 PM   |  A+A-


NEW DELHI: At what is one of Delhi's most high -profile polling stations, Nirman Bhawan, the divide between two distinct groups of voters was today starker than ever with a sharp pro-AAP undercurrent evident alongside BJP's unflinching support base.

At this polling station in New Delhi constituency -- which can be taken to be a barometer for the voting in Delhi -- are registered voters such as Congress President Sonia Gandhi and Union Minister Maneka Gandhi as also a large number of slum residents.

The commoners here are essentially represented by the security guards and drivers and domestic helps of the high and mighty in the capital's Lutyens' zone.

Shortly after Sonia Gandhi left the booth saying "Whatever the people want will happen" to the battery of reporters, entered the diminutive Nitin Kumar.

Twenty four-year-old Kumar, who is employed as a driver, seemed supremely confident of his choice and was unhesitant about spelling it out. "Jhaadu", he said.

He offered an elaborate explanation to back his choice.

"Forty nine days or not is not the issue. What matters is the quality of governance. He (Kejriwal) did work for us and I hope he does the same this time around as well," he said.

But for Pawan Rai, a government employee, voting for AAP was akin to inviting another phase of "instability" that would stall "development".

"We voted for a developed Delhi, not for dharnas," Rai said, in an obvious reference to Kejriwal's sit-in demonstration during his short stint as chief minister.

Vijendra Singh's tone had more clarity because for him the choice was made simple as he felt that AAP would do "whatever is needed for the poor".

"See BJP and Congress have been tried over. They (AAP) may have quit in a haste but that would not stop us from giving a second chance to them because they worked for us," Singh said.

As voting started to pick up pace, youngsters started to troop in with much excitement and a sense of responsibility writ large on their faces. These voters seemed less hesitant about sharing the reason behind their choices.

"I think people are going with (Narendra) Modi as they consider him to be a strong face, but Kejriwal is more focused on issues," said Suklang, a second-time voter, who was accompanying his mother.

"I voted for the one who will become our future chief minister," she said with a smile, giving a glimpse of the old school Indian voting mind, secretive as ever.

Former Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit, who accompanied Sonia Gandhi to the booth, said BJP and AAP were "taking credit" for Congress's development work.

Asked to respond, 40-year-old Ashok Kumar emphatically nodded, saying Congress was the "architect of modern Delhi".

But then, "I am from 24 Akbar Road. Do I need to be more specific about my political affiliation?," Kumar said, a wry smile playing on his lips.

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