Lions back home, cubs in Delhi: Small parties want to get noticed

Naya Daur Party, BSP, TMC eye piece of action in capital in this year’s Lok Sabha polls

Parties with a very small presence in Delhi too have taken the plunge, hoping to mark their presence in the national capital. 

Like Mamata Banerjee’s Trinamool Congress , which has fielded candidates for all the seven Delhi Lok Sabha seats in Delhi. It has a yesteryear actor and a prominent women rights activist among its candidates.

Sreerupa Mitra Chaudhury, who is fighting from South Delhi, says, “For 25 years, I have championed the cause of safety of women and the homeless. The TMC seat seemed like the perfect platform, where I can continue my fight to give a better life to women and the destitute.”

Chaudhury, who is popularly known as Nirbhoy Didi among the homeless and the destitute, grew up in Malda district in West Bengal. If she wins the election, she is confident that “no woman will be found lying in the street in an unkempt manner”. “I will make sure women lead fearless lives. Safety and security in the entire South Delhi will be enhanced,” Chaudhury says.

Actor Biswajit Chatterjee, who has been fielded from New Delhi, is the party’s trump card to gain votes not only from the Bengali community but also from his admirers.

“People know me as a Bollywood hero because of the number of hits I have given. I am confident of people voting for me,” says the actor-turned-politician, who is in his late 70s.

Chatterjee claims to have joined the Trinamool because of Mamata's respect for Bengal’s film fraternity. “Didi has given respect to each member of Tollywood – right from a technician to a forgotten music artist. The moment she approached me to come to Delhi from Mumbai, I agreed. I want to support her fight for maa, mati, manush.”

Hari Om Sharma from Chandni Chowk, Syed Siddiqui from East Delhi, Bangshidar Mishra from West Delhi, Mohammed Arif from North-East Delhi and Harinath Ram from North-West Delhi are the other TMC candidates.

The Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) is eyeing voters in Delhi with anti-corruption slogans and promises of redevelopment of unauthorised colonies. Launching a direct attack on Arvind Kejriwal’s Aam Aadmi Party, Sanjay Kumar Rai – the South Delhi poll candidate – says, “All the promises made with jhadus thrust in the air were false. Given a chance to govern, the BSP will make Delhi corruption-free in a few months.”

Fighting elections for the first time, the Sangam Vihar resident wants to redevelop the unauthorised colonies if he secures a seat.

The Naya Daur Party, which made its debut in the 2013 Delhi Assembly elections, wants “to serve people in every way possible”. The party has a stethoscope for a symbol. Shahid, who is into business, is the party candidate from South Delhi. 

“We will address the problems that residents here face on a day-to-day basis. We will be the voices of the ordinary people,” says the 38-year-old.  

For Dharamveer Singh, who is fighting from North-East Delhi for the Rashtriya Ekta Party, promises are always hollow. “Do you actually believe in any promise made by these big political parties? I only believe in performing and showing the change to people,” says Singh, a labourer.

“Ek mazdoor hi aur ek mazdoor ka leader ban sakta hain (only labourer can lead other labourers),” quips the first-time contestant.

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