Delhi’s All 7 Lok Sabha Seats Witnessing a Gripping Battle

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The Congress and AAP alliance has completely changed the national capital’s political landscape

Mohammad Alamullah | Clarion India

NEW DELHI – An intense battle is in the cards across the national capital’s seven parliamentary constituencies as Delhiites queue up to cast their ballots on May 25 in the sixth round of the general elections.

INDIA bloc consisting of Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) and Congress has fully geared up to challenge the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) which is determined to retain its political dominance over the city.

The BJP, having swept all seven seats in the last election, has introduced new candidates in six constituencies, only retaining Manoj Tiwari in the North East Delhi seat. The AAP and Congress are contesting four and three seats respectively, promising a vigorous challenge to the BJP.

North East Delhi

The North East Delhi constituency is drawing significant attention in this election. Here, the contest features Congress’s Kanhaiya Kumar and BJP’s Manoj Tiwari, both having roots in Bihar but whose political careers took off in New Delhi. This seat is a crucial battleground due to its demographic diversity, including a substantial Purvanchal and Muslim population, and being one of the most densely populated areas of the city.

The AAP holds sway over most of the ten assembly seats within this parliamentary constituency. The constituency’s complex voter base includes residents from Uttarakhand and a significant Muslim electorate. Notably, this seat witnessed the defeat of three-time Delhi chief minister Sheila Dikshit by Manoj Tiwari in the last elections.

“The political dynamics in North East Delhi are unique. The voters here are highly engaged and discerning, making it a critical area for all parties involved,” said political analyst Dr. Ramesh Gupta.

New Delhi

New Delhi constituency, a VIP seat encompassing the residences of the nation’s top officials including the president and the prime minister, promises an intriguing clash between BJP’s Bansuri Swaraj and AAP’s Somnath Bharti. Bansuri Swaraj, daughter of the late former foreign minister Sushma Swaraj, replaces Meenakshi Lekhi as the BJP candidate. Both contenders, Swaraj and Bharti, are seasoned lawyers.

This constituency includes ten assembly segments, with a mix of reserved and general seats. Areas like Karol Bagh and Patel Nagar bring in a diverse voter base. The presence of numerous Indian Army personnel in Delhi Cantonment adds another layer of complexity to this seat’s voter demographics.

“Having a candidate like Bansuri Swaraj, with her mother’s legacy, adds emotional weight for many voters. However, AAP’s Somnath Bharti is a strong candidate with significant local support,” commented veteran journalist Pooja Mehta.

Chandni Chowk

This historic and commercially vibrant constituency features a contest between BJP’s Praveen Khandelwal and Congress’s J.P. Agarwal. Khandelwal, a prominent trader and general secretary of the Confederation of India Traders, leverages his strong ties with the local business community. This constituency has a literacy rate of 75% and significant Muslim and Scheduled Caste populations.

“Chandni Chowk is not just a constituency; it is a microcosm of Delhi’s cultural and economic tapestry. The candidate’s connection with the local trading community will be crucial here,” noted economist Dr. Anjali Verma.

West Delhi

With a significant Purvanchal population, this constituency sees BJP’s Kamaljit Sehrawat pitted against AAP’s Mahabal Mishra. Sehrawat, a female candidate and former mayor, represents a strategic move by the BJP, while Mishra is a seasoned politician from Bihar.

BJP has consistently won this seat in the last two elections, but the presence of AAP MLAs in all ten assembly segments could influence the outcome. Mahabal Mishra’s deep roots in Bihar and the local Purvanchal community are expected to play a pivotal role.

“The West Delhi seat is a crucial test for the BJP’s new candidate strategy. Mahabal Mishra’s local popularity adds a significant challenge,” observed political strategist Ravi Sharma.

South Delhi

BJP’s Ramveer Singh Bidhuri faces AAP’s Suhiram Pehlwan in this seat, known for its Gurjar majority. Both the main contenders belong to the Gurjar community. BJP’s Ramesh Bidhuri won in 2019, but this election presents a new challenge with AAP’s strong presence.

The South Delhi constituency has historically been a BJP stronghold, the party winning seven out of the 13 elections since its creation. However, the AAP-Congress alliance dynamics could alter the voting patterns this time around.

“The Gurjar vote is pivotal here. Both candidates are deeply connected to the community, making this a tightly contested seat,” said sociologist Dr. Neha Kapoor.

North West Delhi

Reserved for Scheduled Castes, the North West Delhi seat features a face-off between BJP’s Yogendra Chandolia and Congress’s Udit Raj. In 2014, Raj, then with BJP, defeated the AAP candidate but switched to Congress in 2019 after being denied a ticket.

This constituency includes ten assembly segments, predominantly represented by AAP MLAs, except for one BJP legislator. Udit Raj’s switch to Congress and his established political career add a layer of complexity to this race.

“Udit Raj’s shift to Congress and his deep connection with the community make this a fascinating contest. Chandolia’s grassroots work in the constituency will be tested,” remarked political commentator Arvind Kumar.

East Delhi

Cricketer Gautam Gambhir of the BJP currently represents this constituency in the Lok Sabha. The party has denied him a ticket this time and instead has fielded Harsh Malhotra. He is contesting against AAP’s Kuldeep Kumar. Malhotra, a former municipal councillor and a mayor, brings with him extensive local governance experience. Kuldeep Kumar, an MLA from Kondli, represents the combined strength of the AAP and Congress alliance.

The 2019 election saw the BJP securing 55.33% of the votes, but the alliance’s strategy aims to consolidate Muslim and Sikh votes, making the race competitive. The diverse demographic, including a significant Muslim population, adds to the election’s unpredictability.

“East Delhi’s electorate is diverse and dynamic. Harsh Malhotra’s local experience versus Kuldeep Kumar’s legislative record makes this a compelling contest,” said election expert Suraj Singh.

The elections are set against a backdrop of new alliances and fresh candidates, making it one of the most captivating political battles in recent history. The INDIA bloc is keen to break the BJP’s stronghold, introducing a wave of political dynamics and strategies. Each constituency, with its unique demographic and political landscape, promises a riveting contest.

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