Lok Sabha Elections 2024: Congestion-free roads, potable water, more jobs to dictate polls in North East Delhi

- May 24, 2024
| By : Kushan Niyogi |

Residents of North East Delhi, which is the most densely populated district in the Capital, suffers from overflowing drains and high crime rate

OPEN SEWAGE: Open sewage and waste disposal is a major concern in the area

The spotlight is on the North East parliamentary constituency due to the presence of heavyweights Manoj Tiwari, the BJP candidate, and Kanhaiya Kumar, the Congress candidate. 

Boasting a total of 24,63,159 voters, the constituency has been make-or-break for many politicians. Established after the delimitation exercise of 2008, the constituency is called home by a multitude of people, including migrants from Uttar Pradesh and Bihar, who are referred to as Poorvanchalis.

To that effect, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) had fielded popular Bhojpuri singer and celebrity, Manoj Tiwari, in 2014, when he toppled Congress’ musclewoman Shiela Dikshit, in a massive upset. Since then, Tiwari has been able to maintain a stranglehold over his constituency. On the other hand, the Congress has fielded Kanhaiya Kumar, a scholar from Jawaharlal Nehru University. 

Also read: Lok Sabha Polls 2024: Jobs, roads, water at the core in New Delhi

However, there are a multitude of issues that plague the parliamentary constituency — water scarcity, traffic congestion, high crime rate and a severe lack of employment. 

Pawan Singh, 35, a resident of Karawal Nagar and a bonded labourer by profession, highlighted the need for more efficient means to tackle lack of employment. 

“I have lived here all my life but the availability of jobs is still the same. I would want at least my sons to not be  labourers like me,” he said. 

Aftab Ansari, a 24-year-old shop owner at Kartar Nagar, pointed at the open drainage lining the shops and said that there has been no development in the area for the longest time. 

“The situation remains the same no matter the change in MP. The drains have remained open since the first time I set up shop here. It is still overflowing, and when it rains, the situation becomes much worse. There are already mosquitoes hovering around,” he said. 

Even traffic congestion has become a divisive issue in the constituency with multiple roads facing problems of static vehicular movement for long hours. 

“We were supposed to get extended and wider roads, starting from the Pusta Road, which was supposed to become two-lane. All of these projects have literally stayed at a standstill, making life unbearable here. I have been stuck in traffic jams for hours on end sometimes,” said Rajesh Kushwaha, 42, a bus driver. 

Another factor that may be the defining factor in the elections in the constituency is the crime rate. North East Delhi has some of the highest crime rate in the national capital and according to residents, it is mostly due to the lack of employment opportunities. 

“There are young people running around here without a job. At this point, they do not have much clarity about what they want to do either and a life of crime sometimes helps when there’s no job to go around,” said Javed Ansari, 26, a student. 

The North East constituency comprises the assembly constituencies of Burari, Gokalpur, Seema Puri, Seelampur, Rohtas Nagar, Ghonda, Karawal Nagar, Babarpur and Mustafabad.