Close to three lakh voters in north-west Delhi’s Bawana constituency are all set to cast their vote on August 23 to elect their new Member of the Legislative Assembly. The bypoll was necessitated after former AAP MLA Ved Parkash switched camps to join BJP ahead of the MCD elections in April. Parkash switched to AAP from BJP in 2015 after he was denied a ticket by the party.
“They turned Delhi into a launching pad for Punjab. I kept telling Kejriwal and other leaders that this is not why the people of Delhi had voted for us. But they wouldn’t listen. Everything, from what was being said in press conferences to what would be asked at the Delhi Assembly, was coordinated and pre-decided. How can anyone work like that?” he told The Indian Express. Read | AAP, Congress say Gorakhpur children deaths will change narrative in poll-bound Bawana
The reserved Bawana constituency is one of Delhi’s largest and most varied Assembly segments. The three-way battle between AAP, BJP and Congress is important for all the parties for different reasons. While the Arvind Kejriwal-led AAP needs this win to compensate for their two previous losses in Punjab and MCD polls, BJP is keen to secure Bawana and continue the success it achieved during the MCD polls earlier this year.
For Congress, which for the first time has no representation in the 70-member Delhi Assembly, Bawana presents itself as a hope to secure a seat. The Grand Old Party also hopes the swapping of leaders between BJP and AAP will work to its advantage. While Bawana’s 26 rural villages have traditionally voted for BJP, the colonies generally tend to incline towards Congress.