December 9, 2008 12:49:41 am
After a convincing victory in Delhi Assembly polls, workers and leaders from the Delhi Pradesh Congress Committee claim the ‘migrant vote’, which they suspected would go in favour of the Bahujan Samaj Party, came to them.
The party has won 7 out of the 8 seats in East Delhi and 4 of the 8 in Northeast district. Delhi BJP president Dr Harsh Vardhan is the only one to win from East Delhi. He won the Krishnanagar seat by a comfortable margin while the Congress has won others with comfortable margins.
“The regularisation of unauthorised colonies and other such steps taken by the party in Delhi helped win over the migrant vote,” a party worker at the DPCC said.
The number of migrant voters in Delhi is estimated to be around 40 lakh and a large number of them stay in unauthorised colonies and the jhuggi-jhopdi clusters. While the Congress started distributing provisional regularisation certificates in September, the BJP had blamed the Congress for violence against migrants from Uttar Pradesh and Bihar in Mumbai.
However, voters said they were non-issues.
Trilok Gupta, general secretary of Bihari Colony RWA in Shahdara and migrant from UP, said, “The issues for this election were not national security but more local issues like price rise and gas connections.”
“While voting for a party one keeps in mind what its leaders can do for the common man. As outsiders we just hope that our voice is heard.”
The Bahujan Samaj Party had also started wooing migrant voters by accusing the Congress of “step-motherly” treatment.
Party chief Mayawati accused the government in Delhi of violating the basic needs of migrants from UP and Bihar in her address at the rally in Trilokpuri. But Congress workers say the wins in East and Northeast districts voters did not buy her allegations.
Gopesh Mishra, a migrant from Darbhanga in Bihar and resident of South Ganesh Nagar, said, “We have very modest demands like security of migrants and if these are kept in mind by our representatives, we will have just no complaints.”
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