The election for Congress’ Northeast Delhi candidate — an initiative taken by party vice-president Rahul Gandhi — will be held on March 11. Sitting MP J P Agarwal and former Patel Nagar MLA Rajesh Lilothia are the contenders after Jagdish Tytler withdrew his candidature.
The contenders have begun campaigning to woo the 365 registered voters.
Rajesh Lilothia said, “It is only because of Rahul Gandhi’s idea of internal democracy in the party that a Dalit leader is fighting from a general seat.”
“It will be a historic clash among all the 16 Lok Sabha primaries as (in Northeast Delhi) a youth leader is contesting against a senior Congress leader,” he said.
Although Lilothia is confident for a close fight as he is personally campaigning and meeting each voter, a number of voters believe that Agarwal has a strong hold over voters and party members. One of the voters, Bhisham Sharma, said the candidates are campaigning door-to-door and through phone calls. He felt that J P Agarwal would win easily.
Agarwal too is confident of a victory.
He said he had worked for the party from the ground-level and had good relations with all party members. Agarwal said he didn’t feel the need to campaign because the work he had done for the party speaks for itself.
Another voter, Balzor Singh who contested the Delhi Assembly elections from Gokalpur, said, “The contenders are campaigning in person and over the phone. However, nothing will work for Lilothia. Agarwal is all set to win.”
Former MLA Vipin Sharma, also a voter, said normal campaigning is going on from the contenders’ side and that the result would be out soon.
Of Delhi’s seven parliamentary seats, Congress is holding primaries in two — New Delhi and Northeast Delhi. Ajay Maken was the lone contender from New Delhi and was chosen as the party’s candidate from the constituency. The result for the Northeast Delhi primary is awaited.
Kaushik Kumar & Parul Arya
(Reporters are students of EXIMS, Delhi)