Sheila Dikshit is expected to intensify canvassing after filing her nomination today
BJP candidate Vijender Gupta on Tuesday kick-started his election campaign in the New Delhi Assembly constituency, which is set to witness a triangular contest between him, incumbent Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit and the Aam Aadmi Party leader Arvind Kejriwal in the upcoming Assembly elections.
While Ms. Dikshit is yet to formally launch her campaign, the AAP candidate claims to have covered the entire constituency through door-to-door visits. The Chief Minister is expected to intensify canvassing after filing her nomination today. Her opponent from the BJP will file his nomination on the same day, said his campaign managers.
“I am getting a good response from people who are not satisfied with the performance of their present MLA and see in the BJP a better alternative. They said although they have been electing a Chief Minister for the past three terms, they did not get the response from their MLA when it came to addressing their problems. There is a widespread grievance among the electorate that she barely visits her constituency,” said Mr. Gupta, alleging that even the basic needs of the area had not been met.
Almost 60 per cent of the electorate in the constituency comprises government servants besides seven to 10 slum clusters.
Mr. Gupta said contrary to people’s perception the constituency, which falls under the New Delhi Municipal Council, does not have all civic amenities in place, the area suffers from problems of poor sanitation and water scarcity. Another significant issue plaguing the constituency is the inflated power bills. “The poor are the worst affected by a high power tariff. Colonies housing washer men have registered a steep rise in electricity bills, running in lakhs,” he added.
Mr. Gupta dismissed the talks of Mr. Kejriwal being the main contender for the seat, stating the BJP has always been the main contender and the only alternative to the “corrupt” Congress party. He said the BJP candidate had in the last Assembly elections polled nearly 26,000 votes and this time round, the tally was all set to improve significantly.
“With three main contestants in the fray, by adding just another 4,000-5,000 votes we can win the election. Though the constituency was slightly different in 1993, we had won from here then by about 20,000 votes,” he earlier told The Hindu.
On the issue of corruption, he questioned the credibility of Mr. Kejriwal and countered his “claims” of being the torchbearer of anti-corruption movement. “I had also filed corruption cases against Ms. Dikshit in courts and also before the Lokayukta,” he added.