Along with other high-polling Assembly constituencies, Patparganj and Laxmi Nagar constituencies also saw a good turnout of urban and rural voters.
Delhi Health Minister A.K. Walia, Abhay Verma of the Bharatiya Janata Party and Vinod Kumar Binny of the Aam Admi Party are the key contestants in the Laxmi Nagar Assembly segment. For the Patparganj seat, Congress sitting MLA Anil Kumar is pitted against BJP’s Nakul Bhardwaj and Manish Sisodia of the AAP.
Laxmi Nagar residents were literally given a red-carpet welcome at they entered the model polling station at Sarvodya Bal Vidyalaya. They were greeted with posters of smiling Bollywood actor Soha Ali Khan, exhorting electorates to vote en masse. Wheelchairs were parked near the entrance to take differently-abled persons inside the booths.
However, a senior citizen complained that the personnel at the help desk was not very helpful when he inquired about the polling booth where he had to cast his vote.
The voters’ turnout at the model station was average in the morning, but picked up as the day progressed. At the Sarvodaya Vidyalya booth in the Patparganj constituency, young and old voters did not mind standing in long queues to exercise their franchise.
For senior citizen V.K. Agarwal, who cast his vote here, residents of group housing societies on Narwana Road were fed up with the staggering price rise.
“Power bills have galloped phenomenally and water price has increased from Rs.4,000 to over Rs.65,000 for our cooperative group housing society. Since I am a chartered accountant, I will be able to survive but I worry how my maid will support her large family,’’ Mr. Agarwal said.
There was heavy police deployment as the Delhi Election Commission had declared it a critical polling station. Mobiles, beedis and matches were not allowed inside.
Bharatiya Janta Party’s chief ministerial candidate Dr. Harsh Vardhan was the first to vote at a polling centre in Krishna Nagar, which is his home constituency. After casting his vote, Dr. Vardhan told journalists outside the polling centre that the “BJP will retain this seat fourth time as well. The Aam Admi Party and the Congress are no match for us. They are both fighting for the second spot”.
Krishna Nagar residents shared Dr. Vardhan’s opinion. Some voters, who The Hindu spoke to, said they are satisfied with the work of the current MLA and want him to adorn the Delhi Assembly once again.
“Dr. Sahab has done good work for our area and I want that he should win again,” said a Krishna Nagar resident who did not wish to be named.
Krishna Nagar constituency mainly comprises middle class people who are either in business or have jobs. There is no posh area in the constituency. The distribution of the population is even in terms of the class and that makes the problems common to all classes, said another voter. Dr. Vardhan’s opponent in the constituency is Congress candidate V.K. Monga, who shares similar rapport with the residents.