The traders’ community seeks nomination of Praveen Khandelwal, secretary general of Confederation of All India Traders, as BJP candidate.


New Delhi: The traders’ community is pressing upon the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leadership to nominate Praveen Khandelwal as party candidate from Delhi’s Chandni Chowk constituency. Khandelwal is the secretary general of the Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT).

The business community of Delhi and other parts of the country, while terming Chandni Chowk as a “traders’ constituency” staked the claim for Khandelwal at a meeting held this week, which was attended by more than 250 trade
associations from all parts of Delhi.

On the other hand, at the two-day national governing council meet of CAIT held on 3-4 April at Pondicherry, more than 200 prominent trade leaders from 26 states adopted a unanimous resolution urging Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP president Amit Shah to nominate Khandelwal as the BJP candidate from Chandni Chowk. According to them, Khandelwal represents seven crore traders of the country.

Most of the traders doing business in the Chandni Chowk seat are predominantly also the residents of this seat. Therefore, if this chunk votes collectively as a vote bank in the forthcoming elections, the result is bound to be influenced to a great extent.

Commercial markets like Chandni Chowk, Bhagirath Place, Sadar Bazar, Kashmiri Gate, Chawri Bazar, Khari Baoli, Naya Bazar, Shradhanand Marg, Darya Ganj, Ajmeri Gate, Jama Masjid are part of this constituency and, on the other hand, areas like Kamla Nagar, Ashok Vihar, Shakti Nagar, Model Town, Gujranwala Town, Shalimar Bagh, Pitampura, are inhabited largely by the trading community.

CAIT national president B.C. Bhartia said, “On behalf of crores of traders, we are demanding only one seat from BJP so that traders’ issues can be raised effectively in Parliament. We have every hope that keeping into consideration the yeomen services rendered by the trading community to the nation’s development and economy, the BJP leadership will certainly accord our request.”

Bhartia further said that at a time when BJP is known as a traders’ party, our demand stands justified. “On the other hand, when other sections and castes are getting representation, why is the trading community not given its due representation? If Khandelwal is nominated as a BJP candidate, the party will get enormous support from trading community across the country,” he said.

Vipin Ahuja, Delhi state president, and Ramesh Khanna, national secretary of CAIT, said that since a long time, the traders are fraught with numerous problems from all corners and it has become difficult to conduct smooth business activities. “There are about 19 lakh traders in Delhi who give employment to nearly 30 lakh people. There are more than 3,000 trade associations in Delhi engaged in monitoring trading activities and problems of the traders. Burning issues like sealing, GST, Rent Act, FDI in retail, e-commerce, rampant corruption in Municipal Corporation of Delhi, are troubling the trading community and no one is listening to the woes of traders. In Khandelwal, the traders will find a true representative who has fought trade issues of Delhi and the country very ably,” he added.

In all seven Parliament seats of Delhi, the Chandni Chowk seat is primarily considered to be a seat of traders as all wholesale markets and prominent retail markets are part of this constituency. About four lakh traders are voters on this seat out of about 16 lakh electorate and these four lakh traders have their families and that of families of their employees and other connected people as well.

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