When will politicians ask us about our problems, wonder Delhi residents

During her ‘padayatra’ on Tuesday evening in the Muslim dominated Khureji Khas, Aam Aadmi Party’s East Delhi candidate Atishi walked up to the house of 70-year-old Shahjaha, who was standing at the doorsteps to watch the rally.

The AAP leader smiled and placed her right hand on Shahjaha’s shoulder. The two talked for a few seconds before Atishi moved on to another family amid drum beats and sloganeering,

Jhadu [AAP symbol] pe vote lagane keliye bola, par mudde nahi pooche (She asked me to vote for jhadu, but she did not ask us about our problems),” said Ms. Shahjaha.

The Hindu talked to eight people who the AAP leader talked to during her ‘yatra’. All of them said that she asked them for votes but did not enquire about their problems. Seven out of the eight people, however, still said they would vote for AAP.

“There are no proper roads here and no proper cleaning happens. But what can they ask in a minute,” asked Ms. Shahjaha, adding:“But we will vote for AAP, they have done work.”

The roads are narrow and full of potholes, the open drains stink in the densely populated neighbourhood.

Seema Parveen, 50, also got a chance to talk to Atishi. “There are about eight boys in the family who are educated but do not have a job. Whenever leaders come to ask for votes, they never ask us about our problems,” said Ms. Parveen, who lives in a joint family of around 30 members.

Mohammad Shahid, 52, who was standing outside a shop where the AAP leader talked to him, said: “There is a lot of graft, nothing happens here without money. Even for an Aadhaar card, one has to pay a bribe.” Mr. Shahid said he would have told this to Atishi if she had asked about their problems.

Shahid said he would not vote for AAP in the Lok Sabha election. “I will vote for AAP in the Assembly election, but there is no point in voting for them during this election (as they are not a national party),” he said.

Around 7 p.m., as the ‘padayatra’ entered its second hour, the speakers of a nearby mosque blared out a call for prayer as Atishi talked to Gulshan, 40, for a couple of seconds. “She told me ‘jhadu pe vote dena’ and I said I would. She did not ask me anything else,” said Gulshan. “Since note ban happened, my husband who does embroidery designs on suits near Makki Masjid has very little work. Leaders should ask us about these things,” she added.

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Printable version | Oct 19, 2020 8:33:29 PM |

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