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Tough contest in North East Delhi

Kanhaiya Kumar and Manoj Tiwari from Bihar lock horns in Capital

Tough contest in North East Delhi

People wait to cast their votes in North East Delhi constituency on Saturday. TRIBUNE PHOTO: MUKESH AGGARWAL

Tribune News Service

Samad Hoque

New Delhi, May 25

Long queues of voters were seen in the North East Delhi constituency, where the AAP and Congress (under the INDIA bloc) are in a direct contest with the BJP. BJP’s Manoj Tiwari enjoyed two consecutive terms in the constituency, defeating AAP’s Anand Kumar in 2014 and former three-time Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit in 2019.

This is the first parliamentary election following the 2020 Delhi riots, which killed at least 54 people and left many injured. The region overcame the communal tension following 2,619 arrests by the Delhi Police, of whom 2,094 are currently out on bail and 172 behind bars. The constituency witnessed slow-paced development and an increase in the crime rate.

The voter turnout this year is marginally similar to that of 2019. Today, the overall voter turnout was 58.3 per cent, compared to 63.38 per cent in 2019 and 67.32 per cent in 2014. This time, the contest is between two candidates from Bihar, who are looking to attract the migrant votes in the area.

North East Delhi has approximately 29.34 per cent Muslim population according to the 2011 Census. The constituency mainly consists of unauthorised colonies, where residents demand significant development.

Suhail Saifi, a resident of Mustafabad, said, “We need a change and Kanhaiya can bring it.”

The campaigning saw major political figures coming out to support both candidates.

Kapil Jha, a Gokulpuri resident, said Kumar is likely to give a close fight to Tiwari, adding, “The BJP will create the government at the Centre and this will be a contest to watch.” Arvind Singh, a furniture seller, said, “The roads were made by the Congress, and since then no improvement has been done.”

The constituency’s demographic includes a substantial number of migrants from Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Haryana. This diverse socio-economic makeup significantly influences the voting patterns in the elections.

North East Delhi comprises 10 Assembly seats. In the 2009 Lok Sabha elections, Congress’ JP Agarwal won with 59.03 per cent of the votes against BJP’s BL Sharma Prem, who secured 33.71 per cent. However, the 2014 elections saw a significant shift, with BJP’s Tiwari winning 45.38 per cent of the votes, followed by AAP’s Anand Kumar at 34.41 per cent and Congress at just 16.05 per cent.

In 2019, Tiwari strengthened his position, winning 53.86 per cent of the votes, while Congress’ Dikshit garnered 28.83 per cent, and AAP saw a dip to 13.05 per cent.

Eighty-year-old Anil Kumar Chaudhary, who voted, said, “The youth is being driven away by social media; the issues don’t come out to them. They believe in the falsehood of the BJP.”

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.

#Bihar #BJP #Congress #INDIA bloc

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