The centre of Bankner village in Narela constituency was bustling with activity around noon Saturday, with party members busy checking voter lists on stalls set along the side of the road as a crowd surrounded them. A few metres ahead, families and groups of women stepped out of a municipal school and a Delhi government school after voting.
“We are all labourers in my family. Netas come and go in the village and we keep making requests to them, but nothing changes here. Although everything is more or less fine, we need jobs. Our children are educated but they are sitting at home,” said Roshini (56) a resident of Bankner.
The problems faced by residents at this village is not too dissimilar to those in other rural belts in outer regions of North West Delhi. Most people in these areas said they voted keeping in mind these problems and for parties that will help solve them.
Sunil Locham (21) said, “Most roads in the village are either dug up or filled with potholes. There was a plan for a Metro line to reach here as well but it never took off. There are also no hospitals here, we go to Rohini or Jahangirpuri for treatment.”
Water supply was an issue in Bankner until a few months ago, locals said, but has been solved now. Similarly in Ghevra village, which falls under the Mundka constituency, piped water supply would come for half an hour every third day, but has become regular since August last year, said Poonam (37), a resident.
The big problem here, though, is that there is either an incomplete or improper sewage system. Lalit Rana (26) a resident said, “Sewage from the village goes to two ponds here, which is then transported somewhere else through a pipeline. But even then, we can see that there has been development. Our big problem with the water supply is now over.”
Villages in West Delhi’s Najafgarh throw up a more complex picture and a mixed support base for both AAP and BJP, with the latter largely getting votes for national issues and the narrative put forward by its leaders on the anti-citizenship law protests.
Raj Kumar (64), a farmer from Dariyapur Khurd, said, “Kejriwal is doing a lot of work for the poor in health, education, water and electricity. When our crops were damaged by hail, the AAP government gave Rs 14,000 compensation.”
In Dhansa village, Ram Kumar (55), who works in a printing press, said, “Najafgarh dam has not been built. No one has done any work here… The BJP has been raising important issues such as Shaheen Bagh, Jamia (protests)…”
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