Shaheen Bagh votes to end ‘communal talk’

Voters stand in queue at a polling station in Shaheen Bagh on Saturday.

Voters stand in queue at a polling station in Shaheen Bagh on Saturday.  

People cast vote for safer future for kids, good healthcare system; voters near JMI confident of a ‘clear choice’

Shaheen Bagh, which has been the nucleus of anti-CAA protests in the city for over 50 days, saw people come out in large numbers to vote for an “end to communal talk”, on Saturday in the Delhi Assembly elections. The voters in the area, which falls under the Okhla Assembly Constituency, went to the polling stations in batches to ensure that the protest remained undisturbed.

Most hoped for safer educational spaces.

Heena Ahmad, a make-up artist, who was standing in a queue to cast her vote after spending the night at the protest site, said: “For the last 56 days, we have been protesting for a safer future for our children. Good education and safer environment in educational institutions is the need of the hour. My daughter was injured in the December 15 incident [at Jamia Millia Islamia]. We also do not want Ministers who use impolite language.”

A 27-year-old homemaker, Nazneen Banu, said: “The Prime Minister, at one point, used to talk about ‘Beti Bachao Beti Padhao’. But now, look how he is treating women. To him, clearing roads is more important than addressing our demands. How are we supposed to trust him?”

“What we need is good healthcare and education for our children. For us, saving ₹100 a day means that the children will get an extra dish in their meals,” the mother of four added.

Stating that her vote was towards “development”, Praveen Khan, a nurse at a hospital in Karol Bagh, said: “In the last five years, we have got free electricity and free bus rides. For poor people like us, nothing else matters. Saving on bus fare means a lot to us, then why should we not support the government which has actually worked for us?”

Voters near Jamia Millia Islamia, another area that has been pivotal to the ongoing protests against the amended citizenship law, said: “It was a clear choice”. Homemaker Feiman Fatma said: “My vote was for a better education system. I am sure that the protest against the CAA will be an important factor in this election.”

Businessman Rais Ahmad, who also voted from Shaheen Bagh, said: “This election is based on development. We have already seen what ‘vikas’ is happening in the country.”

Space crunch

Meanwhile, people at Okhla Modern Public School, one of the polling stations in Shaheen Bagh, complained that only three polling booths were provided for 4,400 voters.

The security personnel in and around the school had a tough time managing the queue as people had to wait for hours before they could cast their votes. When the voters complained about the situation, a polling officer said: “Nothing can be done now.”

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Printable version | Mar 30, 2020 10:40:21 AM |

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