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Most in Krishna Nagar voted for Kejriwal, not against Bedi

AAP won the Krishna Nagar assembly seat but the reasons for the voters’ new choice are as diverse as the constituency itself.

Written by MAYURA JANWALKAR | New Delhi | Published: February 12, 2015 2:01 am
BJP, kiran bedi, krishna nagar Bedi could not conquer some hearts that Harsh Vardhan had won in Krishna Nagar.

The AAP won the Krishna Nagar assembly seat by a small margin of 2,277 votes but the reasons for the voters’ new choice are as diverse as the constituency itself.

Since Kiran Bedi’s candidature was announced from the BJP bastion in East Delhi on January 19, the party’s chief ministerial candidate visited various parts of Krishna Nagar, identifying its problem areas. Her attempt at being a “gardener” in a constituency nurtured by Union Science and Technology Minister Harsh Vardhan was, however, overrun by a fellow election debutant, AAP’s “foot soldier” S K Bagga.

The AAP, however, also gained from voters who digressed from the Congress. While many bought the AAP’s promises of cheaper electricity and water, some felt that party chief Arvind Kejriwal deserved another shot at power. Bedi could not conquer some hearts that Vardhan had won while others felt that Kejriwal’s politics was a breath of fresh air.

In the Lal Quarter market, Paramjeet Singh, who owns a shop selling Punjabi slippers, had always voted for the BJP before February 7. “The AAP spoke about reducing our water and electricity bills and controlling inflation. What does a common man want to hear? But the BJP spoke of no issues at all,” he said. He, however, softened when he said that had Vardhan contested Delhi’s assembly election, his vote would remain with the BJP. “If you don’t like the candidate why will you vote for her?” Singh asked.

First-time voter Tarun Kumar, 19, also picked the AAP. He said AAP volunteers would come to their door to explain the party’s plan for Delhi.

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“Other party workers also came but not as often. The crowd that participated in their rallies was always well-behaved and seemed educated, not rowdy like those in other party rallies. All my friends also voted for AAP.”

In Muslim-dominated Khureji, Imran Khan, 22, runs a garment shop. He said the traditional choice of the Hindus in the locality was BJP and that of the Muslims was Congress. “A Muslim would never vote for the BJP. We have no expectations from that party. But in the last eight years, the Congress had done no work to improve the conditions here.”

In the Poorvanchali-dominated jhuggi-jhopri cluster of Safeda Basti, where the BJP flew in its ally Lok Janshakti Party chief and Union minister Ram Vilas Paswan to address a public meeting before elections, Asha Devi said, “If the AAP is promising to make electricity cheaper we will obviously vote for them.”

“I too come from Bihar but I would not have voted for the BJP only because Paswan is saying I should. I don’t like Paswan. He only works for his own caste,” said Suresh Kumar, 42, a tea vendor. “In the Lok Sabha elections, I voted for the BJP but for Delhi there is no better chief minister than Arvind Kejriwal,” he said.

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  1. B
    Feb 13, 2015 at 2:16 am
    Everybody wants freebies....remember congress did the same thing. It is one thing to promise a good clean administration but it is another to promise everything at half price. reminds me of the south india parties who were giving rice at Rs2/kg . Nothing against AAP. They should have gotten the second chance esp after the campaign that BJP run. But AAP will understand now that some promises are hard to keep in the long run. As far as BJP goes, BJP is diluting its base by letting people from other parties in. these people should come in but like any regular party worker who wish to join. No demand and no offer. just work until party workers think that you deserve a chance. Shah has to understand that verance is the key, you cannot let your own party worker turn sour. Modi won because he showed Gujrat development, don't go back on the beaten down theme of bringing people down. That doesn't work with young people. Show us the vision and how to get there. Work on it and stop tweeting.
    1. G
      Feb 12, 2015 at 6:03 am
      This is the most level-headed essment of the Delhi election outcome. Clear choice of AAP. Nothing against the BJP. Of course a lot of media folks like to fantasize that the end is nigh for Modi. It might happen, but too early to call. Watch a few more states and then make draw conclusions. Also, one hears the muslim testimony everywhere - traditionally, we voted for Congress, but they did nothing for us.
      1. Indee Nemani
        Feb 12, 2015 at 12:55 pm
        Majority Indians are cheap(expect freebies including rich and middle cl folks), no wonder, throw them sops, they will elect evenness forget traitors...they are not getting the point only corruption can support welfare.
        1. M
          Meenal Mamdani
          Feb 12, 2015 at 7:45 am
          I agree with "guestfromindia". It seems the days of votes based on caste are over. Development and problems of daily living are more important to the voters. BJP, to win over the minorities, must distance itself from its vicious fringe. Perhaps BJP's overseas supporters can drum some sense into it. NRIs in the West ought to be embarred by the lunatic pronouncements and hate speech of the BJP parivar.
          1. V
            Feb 12, 2015 at 1:52 pm
            It looks like BJP retained its vote share, but could not capitalize or mobilize on other segments. Though there are several reasons, I think, BJP could have retained and preferred for local leaders. By doing so, they could have improved the seats although AAP would have still won, but with out this kind of mive victory. In any case, just like Tamil Nadu, freebies worked in Delhi too. This was a bit surprise for everybody in South. Having been in thick things in politics, we thought Delhi would choose it right. People every where are same, I believe.
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