The Sunday Guardian observed that while the middle-class favours the AAP, most of the business-class supports the BJP in LohaMandi.

 

New Delhi: A tough battle is expected between the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in the upcoming Rajinder Nagar bypolls. Congress, on the other hand, seems way behind as far as the poll race is concerned.
The Sunday Guardian visited numerous localities in Rajinder Nagar, including Todaur, Inderpuri, and Loha Mandi, and observed that most common middle-class people favour the AAP, while most business-class people support the BJP in Loha Mandi.
However, there was a mixed reaction in other places such as Todapur, and the BJP was popular in various areas of Inderpuri, whereas those in JJ Colony and slums supported the AAP.
Several people in Todapur are facing a water crisis. Some people, here, are expecting change, indicating that BJP may win while some people are still hoping that AAP may win this election.
“This time BJP may win as Rajesh Bhatia is a good candidate. We support BJP and look at the conditions of Delhi, most of the people are alcoholics, we are facing a water crisis and former MLA Raghav Chadha has left the seat for his own benefit,” Balbir Bharadwaj, a resident, who has been staying in Todapur, Rajinder Nagar since 40 years.
However, another Todapur resident and also a fruit vendor, Harishchandra Prajapati, told this paper, “There are two strong candidates—Rajesh Bhatia (BJP) and Durgesh Pathak (AAP), thus it is tough to determine who will win. We have no expectations from Prem Lata (Congress), but I believe that Durgesh Pathak (AAP) has higher chances of winning. Former MLA Raghav Chadha hasn’t done much, and we’ve been dealing with a water shortage for years. Although I understand that what he (Raghav Chadha) did was the correct thing for him, we, the common people, are the ones who are suffering.”
Most of the tenants, who are often from other states like Bihar, UP, and Jhansi, manage their water scarcity from other houses or handpumps or taps nearby the areas. However, most of the women (80%) in the Todapur region are supporting AAP as the party has provided free buses, who were used to travel to nearby areas and ended up not saving enough money.
“We have a water shortage, we currently support the BJP, and we are hoping for some improvements. Former MLA Raghav Chadha has not accomplished much; we manage our water in some way; we have to buy drinking water; we travel to nearby temples to fill our buckets,” said a shopkeeper, who has been staying in Todapur for 50 years.
When the correspondent asked AAP senior leader Durgesh Pathak about the water management issue, he said, “We are aware of it and are looking into the problem. AAP had arranged direct pipelines but the pressure is affected due to many water connections from the household.”
The correspondent also visited Inderpuri and found that some of the people have mixed reactions to Durgesh Pathak’s candidature. They had more faith in Former MLA Raghav Chadha. Nitish, who runs a construction company, told this paper, “Raghav Chadha has worked well, he put CCTV cameras here and there but I am not sure about Durgesh Pathak. BJP also has a strong chance to win.
Most of the people in JJ Colony are supporting AAP as water bills, electricity bills are lower. Most of the people will vote for AAP because of their name.”In Inderpuri, people have claimed they don’t face water scarcity but some houses receive contaminated water.
Many people from the labour class are supporting AAP in Loha Mandi. “Former MLA Raghav Chadha was a good person and has worked a lot. Many people have high hopes from Durgesh Pathak as well but no people have expectations from Congress,” Rajkaran, a factory worker, who stays in Loha Mandi, told this paper.
However, some people have claimed that people are a bit inclined toward BJP. “The people (labourers) from Punjab, who have come here for jobs, are little disappointed in AAP. Some of the labours, here, want change as they have claimed that the former MLA Raghav Chadha has not worked much in Loha Mandi. Some of the people find poor drainage systems, and water crises in their areas; the labours did vote for Raghav Chadhav, but they are disappointed. Only a few labour class people are supporting AAP,” a businessman, Prem Gargi, in Loha Mandi told this paper.
BJP candidate Rajesh Bhatia told this paper, “Many people have complained of poor drainage management and water crisis. We are hoping to win this election.” BJP has nominated councillor Rajesh Bhatia, Congress has nominated former councillor Prem Lata and AAP has nominated Durgesh Pathak. There are seven independent candidates contesting the election too.
The BJP won Rajinder Nagar in 1998, 2003 and 2013; the Congress had won in 2008 and in 2015 and 2020; the AAP had won the elections.
The Rajinder Nagar election will start on 23 June and the results will be declared on 26 June. Around 1.65 lakh voters are present in Rajinder Nagar with 177 regular polling booths and 26 auxiliary booths set up at 21 locations.