Fifteen leaders holding public gatherings at 9 different places within a span of two hours between 7 pm and 9 pm — the BJP went all out for its Rajinder Nagar bypoll campaign on Thursday, even as AAP Rajya Sabha MP Sanjay Singh and Delhi’s Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia held rallies in the area.
BJP leaders including East Delhi MP Gautam Gambhir, Rajya Sabha MP Dushyant Gautam, state president Adesh Gupta, Union Minister Meenakshi Lekhi, BJP Mahila Morcha president Vanathi Srinivasan, Delhi Assembly’s leader of opposition Ramvir Singh Bidhuri and former mayor Jai Prakash took part in the gatherings at Indepuri, Rajinder Nagar, Buddha Nagar, Naraina Industrial Area among other places.
The seat fell vacant after erstwhile MLA Raghav Chadha was nominated by the AAP to the Rajya Sabha from Punjab.
Gambhir, who was speaking at a banquet hall near Naraina Industrial area, said, “There is no one in Delhi who has not heard of AAP’s tall promises, like Delhi becoming like London and Singapore. Now it is for you to see the condition of Rajinder Nagar where people are fed up with the water problem.”
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“We are not here to just win elections but to save Delhi. We don’t want to make Delhi like London, Paris, or New York but to make it just a city which once had clean air and water,” he said, adding, “Rajesh Bhatia (BJP’s candidate) has also been the councillor of my area, and we have seen how he has worked for its development. So, I am here to ask for votes for him.”
Lekhi, who is also the New Delhi MP, said, “Two to three days are left, and people… are saying that the previous candidate has failed in his performance. When Bhatia was our councillor, work was expedited faster. It is important that a BJP person should be (in power) at the local level so that work can be done.”
Prakash, who was speaking at Naraina, said people are fed up with the water crisis and roads being dug up in several places and this shows that even basic issues have not been dealt with in the constituency.
For the high-stakes bypoll, the AAP has fielded MCD in-charge Durgesh Pathak as its candidate while the BJP announced Bhatia, a former councillor, as its pick. The Congress fielded its former councillor, Prem Lata. The bypoll will take place on June 23, and counting of votes on June 26.
Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal is also set to hit the road in Rajinder Nagar, where he will hold road shows on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
On Thursday, Sisodia said BJP was scared of AAP’s pace and style of functioning and feared that if they allow development in the city, it would increase Kejriwal’s popularity.
Speaking at Naraina Village, Sanjay Singh, meanwhile, said that nepotism was prevalent in political parties across the country. “CM Kejriwal and Durgesh Pathak are first-generation politicians — they have not had any MLAs or ministers from their families. We are people who come from ordinary families and have worked hard and become politicians… people of Rajinder Nagar also need to give their love to AAP and vote for Durgesh Pathak who will work 24/7 for residents of the constituency, he will live among the people here and work hard to make constituency better,” he said.