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Uttarakhand » Politics

Posted at: Jan 11, 2017, 12:35 AM; last updated: Jan 11, 2017, 12:35 AM (IST)SEAT: DEHRADUN CANTONMENT (GENERAL)

7-time MLA set for another contest

Congress ready totake him on

  • BJP’s Harbans Kapoor has won the Assembly elections seven times in a row.
  • In the 2012 Assembly elections, more than 10 candidates were in the fray. However, Harbans Kapoor defeated the Congress candidate by a margin of over 5,095 votes.
  • Congress leaders Surya Kant Dhasmana, Lal Chand Sharma and Rajiv Jain expect Cong ticket from this segment.
  • Former AAP leader Anoop Nautiyal too is likely to contest
  • Rival parties are trying to woo people by making a number of promises

Neena Sharma

Tribune News Service

Dehradun, January 10

Harbans Kapoor has an enviable political track record of having been elected as an MLA seven times from Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand. He will be defending his Dehradun Cantonment Assembly segment for the second time in the upcoming elections slated for February 15.

Though it is certain that Kapoor will be fighting from the Dehradun Cantonment seat, rumours are doing the round about 70-year-old Kapoor making way for one of his two sons to carry forward the legacy.

Profile of Dehradun Cantonment

The Dehradun Cantonment Assembly segment came into existence in 2012. In the 2002 elections, the Assembly segment went by the name of Dehradun and was represented by Harbans Kapoor. After delimitation, the entire Premnagar area was added and Moti Bazaar, Khurbura, Manu Gangh, Machi Bazaar areas were removed, which were added to the Rajpur Assembly segment.

The constituency now comprises of four Cantonment wards of Premnangar and 13 other Municipal Corporation wards. In addition, it also includes Vasant Vihar area, Indira Nagar Colony, Mohit Nagar, half of the GMS Road area, parts of Rajinder Nagar, Sridev Suman, Yamuna Colony, Patel Nagar, Gandhi Gram, Syed Mohala gram, Indirapuram and Kanwali Gaon.

A BJP bastion

The constituency has been a traditional stronghold of the BJP, courtesy the sway Kapoor has over his voters. In the 2012 Assembly elections, more than 10 candidates were in the fray. However, Harbans Kapoor defeated the Congress candidate by a margin of over 5,095 votes. He bagged 29,719 votes. The runner up candidate, Devender Sethi, of the Congress polled 24,624 votes.

The Dehradun Cantonment residents are a mix of Punjabi speaking shopkeepers, who settled in Prem Nagar and other areas after the Partition. Kapoor, himself a refugee, did not fail to work on this emotional connection and continues to have personal ties with most of them.

However, a new set of voters engaged in small jobs have begun to assert that they are “unhappy with the way Kapoor has sidelined them.”

“The MLA has not visited our area after the election. There was a Dengue outbreak here, but he failed to show up. Preventive measures were taken when most of the people had recovered. There is no cleanliness in our areas and no drainage system,” said Santosh Gupta, a resident of Syed Mohala.

Arvind Kumar, who works at a nearby fitness centre on Chakrata road, says, “The MLA does not meet us. He has confined himself to his own circle.”

However, Govind Singh Negi, who runs a small eatery in Yamuna Colony is satisfied with the performance of the MLA. “All my needs of continuous supply of power and water have been taken care of. What we need now is proper parking places and shelter homes for the poor to brave the winter chill,” he said.

Meanwhile, Kapoor lists several achievements and works that he managed to take up during his five-year term. “There were several primary schools that did not have kitchens and rooms to study. I managed to ensure toilets and kitchens at such schools,” he said.

Works undertaken by him

He got constructed kitchens in government primary schools falling in his constituency, and took up construction of toilets, and addition of rooms in an inter college (GIC).

He has taken care of the upkeep and construction of parks at Indira Nagar (8), Vijay Park (3) and other areas.

Sulabh Shauchalyas at Bindal, Govidngarh and Rajendra Nagar have been constructed. Donation of ambulance and X-ray machine at Premnagar Combined Hospital has been done. Tube well with the help of ONGC has been sanctioned and hand pumps and iron nets as fencing on both sides of the Bindal river bridge have been installed.

What ahead

Several areas require roads, proper drainage system, and solid waste treatment plant in Indira Nagar is still incomplete.

Sensing some resentment brewing among residents, the prospective candidates too have been working in the constituency.

Despite the formidable track record of Harbans Kapoor, who is also a former Cabinet minister and a former Speaker, there are several contenders in the Congress who are ready to take him on. These include senior Congress leader Surya Kant Dhasmana, Lal Chand Sharma and Rajiv Jain. Further, former leader of Aam Admi Party, Anoop Nautiyal is also active in the area and is likely to contest the election as an independent.


What they have to say

"Continuous supply of power and water in the area has been taken care of. What we need now is proper parking places and shelter homes for the poor to brave the winter chill. We expect the MLA to focus on these areas and do the needful." — Govind Singh Negi, Yamuna colony resident

"The MLA has not visited our area after the election. There was a dengue outbreak here, but he failed to show up. Preventive measures were taken when most of the people had recovered. There is no cleanliness in our area and no drainage system. "— Santosh Gupta, resident of Syed mohala

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