MP hopefuls reject 'outsider' tag

pollpourri

The media, in an attempt to segregate candidates, may have labelled him an ‘outsider’ already, but Maheish Girri – the BJP Lok Sabha contender from East Delhi - vociferously rejects it. 

“More than half of Delhi’s population today was born outside it. Would you say they are outsiders? 

They are serving the State and its people, and their children belong here. Would you still they don’t belong to Delhi?” he questions Metrolife, adding for good measure, “The only outsiders in India are from Italy.”

With new parties (read Aam Aadmi), and also regional ones like Trinamool Congress, foraying into the Capital city, a number of MP hopefuls have been injected into the landscape who have spent the better part of their lives in other parts of the country. 

Of course, all of them now claim a ‘Delhi connect,’ but are Delhiites even willing to give a chance to such candidates who could disappear as easily as they have showed up on the political scenery?

Biswajit Chatterjee - the TMC candidate from New Delhi, a yesteryear superstar of Bengal whose affidavit now claims residence in Mumbai – hardly knows about Delhi. Bravely, though, he’s up against two-time Congress MP Ajay Maken and BJP national spokesperson Meenakshi Lekhi. 

He explains, “As long as a leader means well for his people, does not divide them on the grounds of caste and religion, I see no problem. Rest, I am relying on my party to prepare a favourable ground environment for me.”

BJP candidate Manoj Tiwari is confident of winning the East Delhi seat and has even plans to cut down on his Bhojpuri films if that happens. 

He says, “People, this time, will vote for the nation, and not just their own constituency.”

Rajmohan Gandhi, his rival from Aam Aadmi Party, is livid to be even called up for this story, “Don’t even put me in that (outsiders) category. Just because I went abroad for a few years, doesn’t make me an alien to Delhi.”

Having had a rather disappointing experience with ‘outsider’ MPs before, though, people are not willing to give them their votes that easily. 
 
Many cite examples of film stars who were later labelled absentee MPs in the Parliament and didn’t show up in their constituency post bagging the seat. 
 
“Look at Govinda, even Rekha,” points out Kanika Gehrotra, a resident of Shalimar Bagh, “They didn’t do anything for their constituency after their win.”

Pramod, a resident of Paharganj, says political parties may put up “outstation candidates” due to their own political strategies but the welfare of people is paramount, “Such strategies should be made around the welfare of the people and not the other way round. 
 
Look at MP Local Area Development Fund in so many constituencies. They just lay unutilised.”

Poonam Devpal of Shastri Park wonders how such mammoth parties are not able to find even half-a-dozen suitable candidates “from Delhi,” “The fact that a party brings in a candidate from Bihar only with the hope of bagging Poorvanchali votes shows that they have not done enough social work to sail them through. The whole intent is suspect. I would rather press NOTA than vote for such a person.”  

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