The slightly-built man who walked out of the counting centre at the Commonwealth Games Village showing a victory sign, was known to few outside Krishna Nagar before he defeated the BJP’s top gun Kiran Bedi.
He turned 61 on February 7 when Delhi went to polls. Lawyer S K Bagga, who visited a number of polling stations in Krishna Nagar on that day, however, said that no opponent — famous or otherwise — could have dented his confidence. No wonder, he has quickly earned titles such as “giant-slayer” and “man of the match”.
“I live in Geeta Colony. The people of Krishna Nagar know me. I am not an outsider who was parachuted. That is why the people of Krishna Nagar put their faith in me,” Bagga said. He said he was a ‘chhota sipahi’ (foot soldier) in the AAP who had defeated Bedi by a margin of 2,277 votes. “Can you imagine what would have happened if she contested against Arvind Kejriwal?” he said.
AAP volunteers who joined Bagga on his tireless campaign for two months, were quick to enlist Bagga’s activities since the party announced his candidature from East Delhi’s traditional BJP stronghold. “I have personally gone to meet over a lakh people in Krishna Nagar. I have been out on the field for 20 hours a day for two months,” he said. Bagga’s activities included 120 padyatras, 25 public meetings and about a 100 corner meetings.
“There is a lot of work to be done in Krishna Nagar. There are acute problems of parking, women’s safety, electricity and roads,” he said. Although BJP’s Dr Harsh Vardhan had retained the seat since 1993, Bagga said, “People are not stupid. They will not continue to vote for you if you have done nothing for the constituency. That is why we now have to work on delivering on the promises we made. Our responsibilities have increased,” he said.
Senior AAP leader Kumar Vishwas, who campaigned for Bagga, had told voters in Krishna Nagar, “You give me an MLA and I will give you a minister.” Bagga, however, said that he would leave that decision to the party leadership.