AAP candidate steals show in Kathputli Colony

AAP candidate steals show in Kathputli Colony

The local community leaders want Bharatiya Janata Party to step in after AAP’s New Delhi constituency nominee Ashish Khetan scored over his rivals in showing solidarity with the anti-rehabilitation campaign at the Kathputli Colony.

Puppeteers’ Kathputli Colony is the first in-situ rehabilitation project of the Delhi Development Authority (DDA). 

The AAP candidate on Wednesday had charged DDA with giving “undue benefits” to the Raheja Developers while granting a contract to redevelop the colony on a public-private partnership basis. 

“We will welcome anybody who willing to take up our cause,” said a local leader Dilip Bhatt.  

For a public meeting with the residents of Kathputli Colony, Bhatt sent an invitation to the party candidate Meenakshi Lekhi through a party worker. He said that both the area's BJP MLA R P Singh and local AAP leader Vijender Garg have been supporters of their campaign. 

With an eroding middle-class support for AAP, the former journalist Khetan is trying hard to win over BJP vote-base in Kathputli Colony. 

The inhabitants of Kathputli Colony for over a month now have been protesting against their eviction and shifting to a transit camp in Anand Parbat. With Lok Sabha election closing in, the DDA has halted its relocation drive, said Bhatt.

Earlier the Delhi High Court had declined to stay the redevelopment project and had asked the DDA to make all efforts to persuade the residents to shift to the transit camp.‘Over 12,000 voters here’

The representative of the Valmiki community in the area, G R Guliyar said that there are over 12,000 voters at Kathputli Colony. “The decision on which candidate we plan to vote will be taken 2-3 days before the election,” he added.

A local resident Sayed Hussain who works as a magician said, “We are grateful that Khetan came to Kathputli and spoke for our cause. Despite our request, the Congress candidate Ajay Maken never visited the locality.”