Voters in catch-22 as their leader joins another party

Voters in catch-22 as their leader joins another party

 With the entrance of movement-turned political party AAP and such others, the electorate is already spoilt for choice, and constituencies where a four-time MLA changes party loyalties make them more confused. A case in point is Hari Nagar constituency.

Bharatiya Janata Party legislator Harsharan Singh Balli, after being denied a ticket from his Hari Nagar constituency joined Congress. And now this four-time BJP MLA is contesting from Hari Nagar as a Congress candidate.

Balli said he was in Congress in 1970s and he has returned to his home. “I have served Bharatiya Janata Party for 36 years but they deceived me. So I came back home and I am contesting from Congress,” said Balli.

It will be interesting to see whether people will put their faith on Balli. “See this is what we say, politicians fight for their own vested interests. Balli used to be a Congress rival for over 20 years and now he has joined hands with them. Political parties think the electorate are fools,” said Resham Singh, a Subhash Nagar resident.

“We don’t know who to vote in these elections as we support Balli but we don’t like the Congress party,” said a government employee.

The constituency is also seeing many marginal parties. Rashtriya Bahujan Hitay Party, a debutant has fielded Neeraj Kapoor. “The BJP candidate Harsharan Singh Balli, who has been winning from Hari Nagar constituency for decades, has joined Congress. The BJP has given ticket to Shiromani Akali Dal which has fielded a non-Sikh candidate. They will lose out on community votes,” said Neeraj Kapoor.

According to him, Congress workers are not pleased to see Balli in their camp. “Around 20,000 to 30,000 voters feel betrayed when Balli switched his allegiance. This proves big parties work for their own vested interests,” added Kapoor, who has been RWA president of Subhash Nagar colony for the last seven years.

“People of the area were saying they will use NOTA option. But we told them to give us a chance. We are hopeful to win as we have worked on the ground.”

Sources said Congress had decided to field Surender Kumar Setia from Hari Nagar prior to Balli joining the party. “We have been losing from Hari Nagar for 20 years now. Balli is a prominent leader and a known face. Hari Nagar is a Sikh-dominated seat and he is capable of winning,” said a senior Delhi Congress leader.

Balli resigned from the BJP after he was denied a ticket to contest for the fifth consecutive time. The BJP has given the Hari Nagar seat to the Shiromani Akali Dal (Badal) under the seat-sharing arrangement between the two allies.

Shyam Sharma is contesting from this constituency from SAD.

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