Aam Aadmi Party (AAP)’s candidate from ward 1 E (Mayur Vihar Phase I), Anita Ujjainwal, had contested the 2013 Asse-mbly election against the party chief, Arvind Kejriwal. Ujjainwal, a social activist, was one of the Independent candidates in the fray against Kejriwal and former chief minister Sheila Dikshit. Her supporters had coined a slogan, ‘Na Sheila Na Kejriwal, ab ki baar Ujjainwal’, that she is still unable to shrug off.
Today Ujjainwal wears an AAP cap, and shares space with Kejriwal on posters and pamphlets. She gushes about achievements of Kejriwal’s government during her door-to-door campaigning. The party volunteers and leaders still tease her for her “foolhardiness”. Ujjainwal, a tad embarrassed, insists that she was “never up against Kejriwal’’.
“My aim was to defeat Sheila Dikshit. She had served as chief minister thrice and done nothing for women or slum dwellers. I just wanted to divert all her votes,” said Ujjainwal. “In fact, my candidature helped AAP, a bit.”
Ujjainwal joined the AAP in 2014 and has been working to strengthen the party’s women’s wing in Trilokpuri, Kondli, Patparganj, Okhla and Jungpura. “I have great regard for Kejriwal and it was only because of him that I joined the party. Seeing my work as the women’s wing district president, Kejriwal gave me a ticket in the municipal elections and I will not let him down,” Ujjainwal said.
“My candidature was announced in the second list on March 4 and I had hit the ground right from that day.’’
She said that there are roughly 8,000 households in her ward and she must have visited each at least five times. Ujjainwal, who belongs to the marginalised Valmiki community, has been running an NGO along with her husband to educate slum children and support women with livelihood opportunities. “I have been closely working with residents in east Delhi and understand the social fabric,’’ she said.
“There is garbage all over; teachers at MCD schools do not report to work. There is adequate space but no dispensary. The drains are clogged. The situation is pitiable. I am determined to change this,” she said.