Voters of South Delhi's Mehrauli Assembly seat, surrounded by villages and posh localities, gave mixed responses for Delhi Assembly election slated for February 8. The residents of constituency, which covers half of Saket, Mehrauli, Kishan Garh and Vasant Kunj localities were impressed with Aam Aadmi Party's (AAP) developmental works especially water supply in their areas. The constituency which has most of the urban areas and some villages is a fight between Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and AAP candidates. Though due to works done by the AAP candidate is a clear advantage to him in this election.
The AAP has once again fielded Naresh Yadav, a sitting MLA whereas BJP has fielded Kusum Khatri and Congress has brought Mohinder Choudhary, a Jat candidate to contest election in Mehrauli constituency.
Focusing his work on the lower-income groups, Yadav, a local from Rajokri village has a good vote bank of urban areas, JJ clusters and his village whereas Khatri, a Jat candidate have support of several villages including Lado Sarai, Kishan Garh, Masoodpur which have Jat population. The disadvantage to Congress and BJP is split of rural votes as both the candidates belong to Jat community.
As many as 1,13,366 are expected to exercise their voting rights from the Mehrauli constituency in the upcoming Assembly elections on February 8.There are around16 per cent of Dalit voters and 25000 Muslim voters in the area. From 1993 to 2003, the segment which covers half of Saket, Mehrauli, Kishan Garh and Vasant Kunj localities, was a BJP bastion under former MLA Braham Singh Tanvar, a Gujjar by caste. In 2003, the constituency was taken over by the Congress for another six years following which the BJP's Pravesh Verma reinstated the BJP in the segment in 2013. Now, Naresh Yadav has been representing the AAP since 2015.
"Yadav has done works in the area especially 500 water connections in the houses. Sanitation has been improved in the area and the most important, CCTVs has been installed in the area," said Rajesh Arora, a resident in ward no-8, Mehrauli.
"Our ward will vote for AAP again as they have solved most of the issues in the constituency and we hope there will be more development works if Yadav wins again. Our MLA was visible in the area," said Sunita, a resident of ward-8 Mehrauli.
Whereas, there was support for AAP in few wards in the areas some residents alleged that there are still bumpy roads and some open sewers which are inviting untoward incident anytime.
The posh Vasant Kunj, which comes in Mehrauli constituency, has a mixed population, housing government employees and including many non-residents of Delhi.
"We will vote for Arvind Kejriwal due to his work on education and health services. Though a lot of development work which includes potholes on roads, leaking sewers, water logging is yet to be done in our constituency but we hope that AAP will resolve our pending issues in their next term," said Amresh Khanna, a resident of Vasant Kunj area.
Meanwhile in rural areas which come under the Mehrauli constituency, the votes are divided between Khatri and Chaudhary as most of the villages are Jat dominated and this clearly gives advantage to Yadav.
"Villagers always see the candidate and now it is a Jat who is contesting from BJP, so our vote will go for Khatri," said Dharamraj, a resident of Massodpur village.
Meanwhile, in Mehrauli, the villagers said that the votes will go for Chaudhary as he will develop Mehrauli village which is being neglected by every government when it comes on development in the area.
Congress candidate, Chaudhary who is a resident of Mehrauli village said that Yadav was not visible in the area and people don't know even his face.
"There is shortage of water in the area as water comes on weekly basis and Yadav has not even built a school or college in the area. The roads are broken and there are no street lights in several areas. Nothing has been done for the welfare for residents. There are still lots of work to be done in the area," alleged Chaudhary.
Meanwhile, Kusum Khatri alleged that AAP MLA Yadav was not visible in the area and has done nothing in Rajokri, Mehrauli and Kishan Garh areas to resolve resident issues. Khatri also alleged that Chaudhary is a gujjar by caste and to lure Jat votes, which are 30 percent in the area, he presents himself as Jat.