‘West’ Side Story: This Delhi Lok Sabha Seat Will See Head-to-head Fight after 10 Years between BJP And AAP

Hyderabad Lok Sabha Election 2024 Schedule: Telangana's Capital to Vote on May 13, Results on June 4

Among the newest Lok Sabha constituencies in the national capital is West Delhi, which came into existence a little before the 2009 parliamentary polls. The seat has seen three Lok Sabha polls so far, and the fourth one is a few weeks away.

Coincidentally, in all three elections, the party winning this constituency has formed the government at the Centre. In 2009, the Congress won the seat when the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) came to power. In 2014 and 2019, it was the BJP that won the seat, as well as formed the government at the Centre.

In the last two elections, the seat saw a three-way contest with both the Aam Aadmi Party and Congress putting up candidates. However, this time the two parties have joined hands against the BJP.

The Fight

In 2024, the fight is between BJP’s Kamaljeet Sehrawat and AAP leader Mahabal Mishra, who is also supported by the Congress.

While in 2014, it was AAP that was in second position, in 2019 it was the Congress. The BJP has swept the seat twice.

In 2014, Parvesh Sahib Singh Verma won the polls by a margin of 2.68 lakh votes – the highest till that year. In 2019, he won the elections with the highest-ever margin of 5.78 lakh votes. Despite an improved result from his previous contest, Verma has been dropped by the BJP this time.

The 2009 winner, Mahabal Mishra, came second in 2019 with 2.87 lakh votes, and was third in 2014 with 1.93 lakh votes.

While this is the first Lok Sabha poll for BJP’s Sehrawat, for Mishra, it is his fourth. If elected, Sehrawat will be the first woman MP from the seat.

The Constituency

With over 24.88 lakh electors, West Delhi is the largest Lok Sabha seat in the city. It is home to about 17% of the voters in the national capital – 13.27 lakh males and 11.61 lakh females.

It is also home to the highest number of first-time voters as well as those above the age of 80 years. Out of the 1.47 lakh first-time voters in Delhi, 26,584 (nearly 20%) are in this constituency. Also, it has about 20% of Delhi’s 80+ voters – over 50,000.

The constituency was formed after carving some areas from the Outer and South Delhi Lok Sabha seats ahead of the 2009 elections. It has 10 assembly constituencies – Madipur, Vikaspuri, Uttam Nagar, Dwarka, Matiala, Najafgarh, Rajouri Garden, Hari Nagar, Tilak Nagar, and Janakpuri. All these 10 seats across the West and South-West districts were bagged by AAP in the 2020 assembly polls.

NOTA

In the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, None of The Above (NOTA) was the fifth most popular option after the BJP, Congress, AAP, and BSP. There were 8,937 votes for NOTA – more than the votes polled for 19 candidates. There were 24 options before the voters in the constituency. It was more than the NOTA votes polled in the seat in 2014.

In 2014, there were 18 options before the voters and NOTA was pressed 7,932 times. It was at the sixth position in terms of votes – gathering more presses than 12 candidates in the fray.

'West' Side Story: This Delhi Lok Sabha Seat Will See Head-to-head Fight after 10 Years between BJP And AAP

Lok Sabha Representative

Verma, between 2019 and 2024, asked nearly 270 questions in the Lok Sabha, much better than the national average of 210 questions by MPs, as per PRS India, a non-profit organisation. His attendance was 95%, again better than the national average of 79%.

He took part in 47 debates – including water storage and air pollution in Delhi.

The Issues

The constituency is densely populated and several parts of it lack basic civic infrastructure.

News18 spoke to the residents from some of these areas who raised a number of concerns including irregular water supply and traffic congestion.

“Water supply is very irregular. Several times people have come on the road protesting because the situation is not improving. Either there is no water at all or it is dirty,” said Jyoti Singh, a 35-year-old Mahavir Enclave resident.

She also said that roads in the area are damaged and “even a drizzle can cause waterlogging”.

For 30-year-old Gautam Singh, the situation is no better in Uttam Nagar.

“The area is very polluted and there is a very serious traffic issue. It is densely populated and there are not enough schools, colleges, and hospitals. Wherever you go, it is crowded. Parking is also a major issue. Lack of parking space forces car owners to keep their vehicles on the roadside and that takes up the entire road,” Singh said, urging the political parties to focus on the plight of the common man.

For 55-year-old Shivani Anand, a resident of Dwarka’s sector-6, while there were tall promises for the area, the situation on the ground is not so good.

“The roads are in bad condition and the water supply is irregular. There are drains in the areas that no authority is willing to deal with or clean,” Anand added.

Pooja Kumari, a 25-year-old Najafgarh resident, says the wait for Delhi University’s West Campus is neverending.

“Can anyone believe that we live in the national capital and have to travel 40-50 kilometres per day for college because the Western Campus of the Delhi University is still a promise? I was in school when talks for this started but now I have completed my graduation and not even a room has been built in all these years,” she said.

The Lok Sabha polls will start on April 19 and all the seven seats in Delhi will see voting in a single phase on May 25. The notification will be issued on April 29 and the last date for filing nominations will be May 6. The counting of the votes will take place on June 4.

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