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

- May 24, 2024
| By : Saurav Gupta |

The constituency, comprising the elite Lutyens’ Delhi and affluent GK and Patel Nagar alongside unauthorised colonies and slums, faces a variety of problems

HISTORIC: New Delhi constituency comprises the iconic Connaught Place, which is part of Lutyens’ Delhi PHOTO: GETTY

An intriguing electoral contest is unfolding in the heart of the national capital as Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)’s Bansuri Swaraj and Aam Aadmi Party (AAP)’s Somnath Bharti vie for the prestigious New Delhi Lok Sabha seat. 

Spanning a significant portion of Lutyens’ Delhi, this constituency is not only a hub of political activity but also home to numerous unregulated colonies and slums, where concerns regarding basic amenities like power supply, water supply, roads, and jobs have taken centre stage in electoral discourse.

Both candidates are employing innovative strategies to connect with voters. While some residents express satisfaction with BJP’s decade-long tenure, citing improvements in infrastructure and governance, others highlight persistent issues like law and order and lack of development in marginalised communities. 

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

The accessibility and problem-solving abilities of AAP’s Bharti have earned him praise from supporters, who value his responsiveness to concerns.

Prateek Sharma, a 27-year-old resident of Malviya Nagar, said, “Crime is surging in our locality which needs to be addressed on priority basis. This is the key concern of the locality. Residents are afraid of getting out at night.”

Jitega Bhai Jitega, Kejriwal Jitega (Kejriwal will win),” chants Raju, a vegetable vendor passing by. 

He said that Kejriwal will win the upcoming polls as he has done so much work for the people of the national capital like opening mohalla clinics, providing free education, free electricity, and free water.  

Also read: Lok Sabha Polls: Crime, traffic snarls key concerns in West Delhi

Moti Nagar resident Riwa Singh reflects the sentiments of many constituents when she emphasises that despite its historical significance, the constituency grapples with enduring challenges such as inadequate infrastructure and economic opportunities. 

This sentiment is echoed by Aniket Rai, who underscores the pressing need for an MP capable of addressing issues like encroachment, law and order, and petty crimes, which continue to plague the locality.

“The key issue of the locality is encroachment in the area. Though the civic amenities are good, the authorities should work on clearing the illegally occupied spaces which will also help in addressing traffic congestion in the city,” Rai said. 

The New Delhi parliamentary constituency is a microcosm of the city’s diversity, encompassing affluent neighbourhoods like Karol Bagh, Patel Nagar, and Moti Nagar, alongside south-west Delhi areas such as Delhi Cantonment and several south Delhi localities like Kasturba Nagar, Malviya Nagar, and Greater Kailash. However, amid the opulence lie pockets of neglect, with unregulated colonies and slums proliferating over the years due to inadequate urban planning and governance.

In the past, this seat has been represented by notable figures, including Suchetra Kripalani, India’s first woman Chief Minister, and prominent political leaders like Atal Bihari Vajpayee and Lal Krishna Advani. Even popular Hindi actor Rajesh Khanna secured victory in a bye-election here in 1992, highlighting the constituency’s eclectic political history.