Purvanchalis courted by political parties as MCD polls inch close in Delhi
New Delhi, Nov 22 (PTI) BJP, AAP, and Congress have started wooing Purvanchali voters who form one of the biggest vote banks in Delhi as the race of MCD polls intensifies.
BJP national president JP Nadda, interacting with members of Chhath Puja Samitis on Monday, urged Purvanchali people to bless the party in MCD polls on December 4.
Nadda, whose childhood and youth was spent in Patna, said "I used to savour prasad of 'thekuas' on Chhath. I am seeking the prasad of Chhath again on December 4." Both, the BJP and AAP, have fielded around 50 candidates each from Purvanchali background. The community is estimated to have a significant presence in all the assembly segments in Delhi.
"Around 50 Purvanchali candidates have been fielded by the BJP in MCD polls. People from Purvanchal live all across the city and they are our supporters," Delhi BJP president Adesh Gupta said.
The Bhojpuri speaking natives of Eastern UP, Bihar and Jharkhand settled in Delhi are considered as Purvanchalis. According to an estimate, they form around one-third of the total 1.46 crore votes in the national capital.
Delhi BJP leaders also estimate that Purvanchali voters, most of them living in unauthorised colonies and slum pockets of the city, decide the fate of candidates on 75-80 of the 250 wards of Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD).
The star campaigners from Purvanchali background include Delhi MP Manoj Tiwari and his Lok Sabha colleagues from UP Ravi Kishan and Dinesh Yadav 'Nirahua.' All three are slated to campaign in some of the areas dominated by the community in the coming days.
AAP MLA and MCD in-charge Durgesh Pathak who too hails from the region said that the party has given utmost respect to the people from the community.
AAP, the dominant party in Delhi, has fielded 40-50 candidates of Purvanchali background in the MCD elections, Pathak said.
"If you see, Purvanchal voters have been given the utmost respect by the Arvind Kejriwal-led government. When our government came to power, there were only 50-60 Chhath ghats that were set up by the government, and now there are nearly 1,200 such ghats," Pathak said.
Chhath Puja this year was celebrated on a grand scale with elaborate arrangements by the Kejriwal government, Pathak said, adding, "everyone knows who has always stood by the Purvanchali voters." Talking about issues plaguing the voters from Purvanchal, he said that a major chunk of them stays in unauthorised colonies where they live in the "most insanitary" condition, and alleged that in case they need to do any modification in the housing structure, they have to bribe MCD officials.
"In Delhi, every constituency has Purvanchali voters and there are 10,000 votes in probably every constituency," he said.
Delhi Congress president Anil Kumar said that his party has been at the forefront of highlighting the issues faced by the Purvanchal community in the city.
“Congress will further highlight their issues, as it has been doing. And we’ll remind them how both the BJP and AAP failed them time and again,” he said.
The AAP received a shot in the arm with a veteran Congress leader of Purvanchal background, Mahabal Mishra, joining the party on Sunday.
Welcoming Mishra to the party, AAP chief Kejriwal had called him a "popular leader from Purvanchal community in Delhi" and said his experience will go a long way in helping the party serve the country. PTI VIT/SLB/ABU VIT VN VN