Water problems, power cuts and broken promises cloud AAP’s outlook in Rajinder Nagar’s secondary polls

Partial polls for the Assembly seat of Rajinder Nagar are scheduled for June 23, 2022. The fight for the seat, vacated by Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader Raghav Chadha, is turning into a battle for prestige as the AAP and BJP bigwigs put their power behind to win the seat.

While the AAP brought Durgesh Pathak, an organizing man from Karawal Nagar, into the fray, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) fielded Rajesh Bhatia, a local and former MCD councilor from the region as a candidate. Congress also chose a former adviser, Prem Lata, as a candidate on the ballot. The assembly seat in contention has 164,698 voters, of whom approximately 56% are men and 44% are women.

The seat was won by the AAP in 2015 and 2020. In 2020, Raghav Chadha replaced the incumbent AAP MP and won the seat with 20,000 votes against BJP’s PR Singh. Chadha was later appointed Vice Chairman of Delhi Jal’s Board of Directors. Residents, who voted for Chadha, had high hopes for him. However, over the past two years, Chadha has remained elusive in the constituency, especially in Punjab, where he oversaw the AAP’s election campaign.

The by-election is fought on local issues. The scorching heat in Delhi has aggravated water problems with no end in sight. While Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has held several roadshows in the constituency and promised residents to find a solution to the water shortage in the region, the BJP, too, is keeping its best party with many of its ministers, MPs and MPs campaigning for Bhatia. .

Kejriwal, who has been in power in Delhi for seven years, has so far failed to resolve the water crisis and is often seen blaming states bordering Delhi. A local resident, Isha Pareek, pointed to water shortage, power outages and the blame game between the center and the state government as her main concerns.

The shoring up of liquor stores due to the Delhi government’s new alcohol policy puts the BJP in a favorable state. Residents have complained about the nuisance created on the streets due to the aggressive discounts allowed on liquor prices.

The Rajinder Nagar assembly constituency consists of a diverse group of people, from lower and upper middle classes to slum and village dwellers.

Gajendra Yadav, treasurer of Delhi BJP’s OBC Morcha, said swarajya that the Budh Nagar slum has about 50,000 voters. They are unhappy with the Kejriwal government for its failure to deliver on its promise to build pucca houses under ‘the Jahan Jhuggi, Wahin Makaan’ politics of Mukhyamantri Awas Yojana. Lack of roads and sanitation facilities are other complaints from slum dwellers.

The by-election in Rajinder Nagar focuses on governance, accountability and accessibility of leaders once in power. This is different from the last two elections where the discussion revolved around free electricity and water. Today, the reality of those promises is beginning to unfold, with water problems and power cuts becoming the order of the day in the nation’s capital.

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