March 13, 2009 11:39:00 pm
Even though his party is yet to declare his name as its candidate for the Lok Sabha elections from Chandni Chowk,sitting Congress MP Kapil Sibal is leaving no stone unturned to touch base with the electorate in his constituency that has undergone demographic and geographic changes post delimitation.
After putting up posters,which were removed after the Anti-Defacement Act was implemented last week,the Union Minister has hit upon a new idea of reconnecting with voters by sending postcards,asking them to write back to him with their list of expectations and problems in the area.
These customised postcards are of the usual size and designed in white,carrying slogans in Hindi and Urdu. A couple of the slogans are: Ao hum baat karein/Ek nayi shuruaat karein and Aap ke jo sapne hain/woh mere apne hain.
While the postage cost is to be borne by
Sibal,Congress workers in the area are personally dropping the postcards at the residences of the voters to ensure that these reach the right people.
Post delimitation,the contours of Chandni Chowk have changed with the addition of seven Assembly constituencies and the removal of Paharganj. Chandni Chowk,which was earlier the smallest parliamentary constituency on the electoral map of Delhi,has now ten Assembly constituencies mainly carved out of Outer Delhi and East Delhi. The new areas include Adarsh Nagar,Model Town,Wazirpur and Shakur Basti.
With the addition of a sizeable population of the Vaish community to the electorate,former Union minister Vijay Goel and MCD Standing Committee chairman Vijender Gupta of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) are eyeing the Chandni Chowk seat.
Sibal,meanwhile,is quite happy with the feedback he has received so far. We have been getting replies in huge numbers and many people have told us about the problems they face. We are still in the process of categorising the problems. The exact number of them,therefore,is yet to be ascertained, Sibal said.
Sibals initiative has,however,evoked a mixed response from the people of the constituency.
This has surely created a buzz in the area. Many people arent happy with what Sibal has done over the last five years,but at least he is making an effort to reach out to people, says Mohd Asif,a resident of Matia Mahal.
According to residents,problems of power,unauthorised construction and inaccessibility of the MP top the list of complaints being sent to Sibal.
The Chandni Chowk road was to be redeveloped,but there hasnt been any work on this front so far, says Sanjay Bhargav,a resident of Chandni Chowk.
In the last five years of his tenure,Sibal is credited with introducing battery-operated buses in Chandni Chowk after the Delhi High Court banned cycle-rickshaws. Sibal has also set up a pilot project to keep a check on unauthorised construction by installing high-range watchdog cameras and sourcing satellite imagery.
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