NEW DELHI: After delimitation, there has been a significant shift in the preferences of voters in some parts of Delhi. In the Karawal Nagar Assembly, two wards— Sabapur and Sonia Vihar—have started expecting some positive action from the new candidates of both parties. Both wards will witness a fascinating struggle between the AAP and BJP, although the former ward is up against a more difficult opponent this time. People, however, are optimistic that things might change after the election because new candidates are elected this time.
The Sunday Guardian explored both wards and found similar problems in both wards such as clogged and open drains with foul smell, open garbage dump, and so on. This correspondent spoke to the residents and candidates of both BJP and AAP. A resident of Sabapur ward 250 told this paper, “Streetlights do not work in all the areas. You can see a hole right in the middle of the road and accidents are quite common but no one listens.”
The big hole was quite visible from the office of AAP MLA Birendra Gupta Fauji, who was out in the campaign and, therefore, unavailable. This correspondent spoke to other members of the AAP present there who stated, “BJP has not done much work here and you can see the result.” Many AAP people have also said that Fauji received flak from Brahmin people in the area; however, the situation has been restored now. Sabapur ward 250 is a mix of Hindus and Muslims (a minor population in the area); however, the majority of Hindus are core supporters of the BJP. However, many residents stated that caste doesn’t play a big role in this area. However, some voters here are also supporters of the independent candidate Lavlesh Sharma.
A resident told this paper, “Some like Lavlesh Sharma since he did many works and listened to the complaints of the people. This time, it will be a tough fight, as both Brijesh Singh (BJP), Birendra Gupta Fauji (AAP) and Lavlesh Sharma (independent) are quite popular. Faujiji is also popular.”
Asked about the regularity of MCD duties, Ravi, another resident of Sabapur ward 250, told this paper, “MCD garbage trucks come once or twice in 15 days.” The Sunday Guardian also visited the office of BJP candidate Brijesh Singh who was unavailable and out on campaign. While speaking to BJP workers, this correspondent was told, “There was a lack of funds so the MCD workers were not getting their salaries so the work was at a halt. But now they have started doing their jobs again and are now getting paid.”
Afterward, this correspondent visited Sonia vihar ward 249 which was comparatively cleaner at the entrance of the area.
However, a resident told this paper, “As you go inside this area, your view will change. The drain is clogged and the water is all over the road. You won’t be able to cross the road without stepping into the water.”
This correspondent met BJP candidate, Anupam Pandey, who stated, “We face water crisis, roads are broken, street lights do not work everywhere. Everything will be fixed soon.”
On being asked about cleanliness, a BJP worker, on the condition of anonymity told this paper, “The roads are not clean and we admit; however, the previous candidate didn’t do much work (hinting at Sushma Mishra). The residents have been complaining, but she never listened to anyone. This has affected the party and the image of Anupam Pandey too. We have difficulty convincing people to vote for the party. However, Anupam Pandey is quite popular so we believe that the people will trust us.”
After speaking to several residents, this correspondent found out that the BJP candidate Anupam Pandey has a positive image amongst the people. “Anupam Pandey is good. Now that the previous candidate (Sushma Mishra) is not present, Anupam has our support,” Virendra, a resident told this paper.
Rimjhim Sharma is an elected candidate from the AAP here. However, this correspondent found out that a lot of people are not aware of Rimjhim Sharma (AAP) but Ward President and his husband Brijesh Sharma is quite popular. However, most of the residents favour Anupam Pandey over Rimjhim Sharma. This correspondent also spoke to AAP candidate Rimjhim Sharma. She said, “Due to open drains, dengue is widespread and streetlights do not work everywhere compromising the safety of women. There has been a water crisis and no public toilet is available in this vicinity.”
While exploring the area, this correspondent tried to find out the level of popularity of Brijesh Sharma. A resident concluded, “Brijesh (Sharma) is quite humble and popular among people; however, Rimjhim Sharma does campaign but people are not quite aware of her.”