Independents dream big, use 'bijli-paani' strategy

Independents dream big, use 'bijli-paani' strategy

A retired Customs Department employee wants to change the country. And for him, contesting the Lok Sabha elections is the best way of doing it.

Meet D K Chopra, a resident of Vasant Kunj, who wants to win the South Delhi constituency and improve water availability in the entire area. “I am going to put up water storage tanks across south Delhi once I win the election,” he said.

Chopra has little faith in other parties for mitigating the water shortage problem and this is the reason why he himself plunged into the electoral battle.

“Most of the areas in south Delhi are upscale. Yet, there is scarcity of something as basic as water,” Chopra said.

“This is my first elections but I am not nervous. I have been serving people for the past 40 years through the residents’ welfare association and am confident that they would vote for me,” he said.

The 60-year-old, who also claims to be an ardent RTI applicant, declared assets worth Rs 30 lakh and Rs 30 lakh in cash.

“Since I am retired now and my children are well settled, I can concentrate on fighting the elections,” he added.

Another first-timer independent candidate, fighting from south Delhi, is Sanjay, a property consultant. “I want a corruption-free Delhi. I have called a meeting of my close associates and residents of the area in the evening to plan how to go about the campaigning,” the 38-year-old Sangam Vihar resident said.

Tej Pal Singh, 38, from Tughlakabad, had put his faith in the Aam Aadmi Party in the Delhi Assembly elections to bring reforms. “But they fooled the people of Delhi. AAP turned out to be good at nothing but staging dramas. So I decided to contest the elections as an independent to fight corruption,” Singh, an interior decorator, said. Singh is also a debutant.

Among the smaller parties trying to gain stronghold by fighting the elections is Jan Samanta Party. Hafiz Mustaq, who has a wife and four school-going children to support, quit his job as a tailor in Sant Nagar to focus on the polls. “We are mainly addressing minority issues as our condition is pitiable. Development of the Muslim community is first on my agenda,” the Sangam Vihar resident said.

Though Mustaq is fighting elections for the first time, the party has fought elections twice in the past.