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Infra neglect, socio-economic fabric decisive factors

Infra neglect, socio-economic fabric decisive factors

The constituency shares a border with UP, attracting a significant migrant population. Photo: Mukesh Aggarwal

Tribune News Service

Anshita Mehra

New Delhi, April 1

As the 18th General Election for the Lok Sabha draws near, the political landscape of the nation is poised for a historic battle among political parties. Among the seven parliamentary constituencies of Delhi, northeast Delhi emerges as a significant battleground, with its unique socio-economic fabric and political dynamics shaping the electoral discourse.

Established in 2008 under the Delimitation Commission of India, northeast Delhi has witnessed three LS elections. While the Congress secured victory once, incumbent MP Manoj Tiwari has emerged triumphant in the past two elections, underscoring the constituency’s evolving political preferences.

However, the region’s journey has been marred by challenges, particularly highlighted by the intense communal violence that engulfed northeast Delhi immediately after the 2020 Assembly elections. The scars of this violence, coupled with persistent social and communal divides, loom large over the constituency, setting the stage for another electoral showdown.

Demographically, northeast Delhi boasts a diverse population mix, with approximately 30.55 per cent Muslims, 16.76 per cent Scheduled Castes (SCs), 1.58 per cent Sikhs, and 1.56 per cent Jains. Moreover, the constituency shares a border with Uttar Pradesh, attracting a significant migrant population from neighboring states like Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, and Haryana. This demographic blend adds complexity to the socio-economic landscape and shapes the electoral dynamics.

According to the chief electoral office, northeast Delhi has around 23.81 lakh voters, comprising nearly 12.87 lakh male voters, over 10.93 lakh female voters, and 144 third-gender voters. However, despite its integral status as part of the national capital, the region grapples with the lack of social and infrastructural development projects, leaving residents feeling neglected and marginalised.

Issues such as development in unauthorised colonies, poor road infrastructure and water quality deficiencies dominate the electoral discourse, reflecting the pressing concerns of the electorate. A resident of Seemapuri, Niharika, lamented the poor water quality, underscoring the urgency for addressing basic amenities in the constituency.

She said, “The water supplied is so dirty, it almost feels it is delivered directly from gutter.”

Most of northeast Delhi comprises unauthorised colonies and villages in dire need of proper development. Additionally, the significant migrant population adds to the constituency’s diverse socio-economic landscape, shaping voter preferences and political narratives.

The political trajectory of northeast Delhi has witnessed significant shifts over the years. In the 2009 Lok Sabha elections, the Congress party secured a commanding lead with 59.03 per cent of votes, while the BJP and BSP trailed behind. However, the 2014 elections marked a significant pivot, with the BJP’s Manoj Tiwari emerging victorious, signalling changing political winds.

In the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, the BJP’s dominance strengthened further, with Manoj Tiwari securing a significant vote share. Former CM Sheila Dikshit’s efforts helped revive the Congress’s presence, while AAP faced a considerable decline in support.

Incumbent BJP representative Manoj Tiwari stands unchallenged, while the Congress, part of the INDIA bloc, is yet to announce its candidate, adding suspense to the political stage. Against the backdrop of its tumultuous past and uncertain future, northeast Delhi is a microcosm of the larger electoral dynamics, where issues of development, identity and governance converge to shape the electoral outcome and influence national narratives.

About The Author

The Tribune News Service brings you the latest news, analysis and insights from the region, India and around the world. Follow the Tribune News Service for a wide-ranging coverage of events as they unfold, with perspective and clarity.

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