A Bellwether Seat, North West Delhi May Have Voted for Modi, Not Singer Hans Raj
The Lok Sabha constituency of North West Delhi voted in the sixth phase of the 2019 general election on May 12. As per the News18-IPSOS exit polls survey, Hans Raj Hans, the BJP candidate is likely to win the seat. The survey also predicted 6-7 seats for the BJP in the capital, with the Congress possibly winning one and Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) drawing a blank.
The constituency, reserved for Scheduled Castes, has the highest number of voters in the national capital (23.78 lakh) and the lowest number of candidates fighting election in any Delhi Lok Sabha seat this time.
Here, the Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) candidate, Hans Raj Hans, was engaged in an electoral battle with the Congress’ Rajesh Lilothia and Aam Aadmi Party’s (AAP) Gugan Singh, both former MLAs.
A bellwether seat, North West Delhi has voted for the winning party in 10 out of 11 Lok Sabha elections since 1977.
North West Delhi is predominantly rural and dotted by unauthorised colonies with a sizeable population of Muslims and Dalits. Both the Congress and AAP are looking at these vote blocs, as their rival is hoping for a division of anti-BJP votes.
While sanitation, lack of employment options, unauthorised colonies and law and order are some of the issues plaguing the constituency, the nationalism fervour among most of the voters could mean that the saffron camp has an advantage.
The sitting MP, Udit Raj of the BJP, wasn’t given a ticket this time following which he joined the Congress.
For Hans Raj, who hails from Punjab, the battle would be tough as he was pitted against local politicians and is fighting with an outsider tag. However, many in the constituency believed that Hans would have got the votes not for himself, but for Modi.
Many residents also agree with the BJP’s decision not to field the incumbent MP. They claim that even the ‘Modi wave’ could not have possibly saved Raj from losing.
“Raj is selfish. First, he did not work, and then left the party on being denied a ticket,” says Ved Prakash, a Jat and a retired elderly resident of Mundka.