Press Trust of india

Delhi votes on issues ranging from power and water supply, jobs to CAA-NRC and nationalism

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New Delhi, Feb 8 : Free electricity and water, development, jobs, national security and CAA were among the issues on the mind of many Delhiites when they cast their vote on Saturday.

The Assembly polls saw a very aggressive campaign by the BJP which asked people to vote for it to show their disapproval for anti-CAA protests like in Shaheen Bagh in southeast Delhi. On the other hand, the AAP ran a campaign hardselling its ‘development agenda’ and its schemes like free electricity, water and travel for women in DTC buses.

Sonakshi Ranjan (22), a first-time voter and resident of New Delhi, said he opted for development while casting his vote.

“I voted for development. Voters should not idolize any party or candidate… work should be the only factor,” Ranjan said.

For Prahlad Kumar, another first-time voter from Nangloi, employment was the topmost agenda. “Rest everything is secondary. Light, water… whatever amenities, even if they are expensive they can be bought if there is income,” he said.

S C Sharma (74), who came to vote in Kalkaji constituency, said he voted for development and national security.

Amarinder Biji (50), a voter in New Delhi seat, said he would not vote for development if it comes “at the cost of sanity and safety”.

“It has become so scary that there can be firing anytime any day. I don’t want forces which divide the country and do not have love for the nation,” Biji said.

Saurabh Kumar (23), a bus conductor, said he voted keeping in view national interest.

“Free water and power are fine, but there are much bigger national issues that are important,” he said outside a polling station in Karawal Nagar.

A businessman from Seemapuri constituency, Raj Kumar Goel, felt that nationalism was the main poll plank in Delhi polls.

The Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and National Register of Citizens were among the key issues, especially in minority dominated areas.

Mohammad Zubair (63) from Okhla, who came to vote along with his 26-year-old daughter Sarah Madiha, an architect, said he will choose development.

“Attempts were made to polarise voters by a party over the anti-CAA protests, but it will not work much,” he said.

Bharatnatyam dancer Aranyani Bhargav patiently waited in a queue for her turn to vote, occasionally cradling her nine-month-old child whom she carried strapped to herself.

The 34-year-old artistic director, accompanied by her parents Rajeev Bhargav and Tani Bhargav, said she chose development over nationalism.

“I voted for development of Delhi, harmony and peace…. I am against people pitching one community against another,” she said.

Shahabuddin and his wife Fahmeeda, in their early 70s, said they voted for the party that worked for poor.

“The governments need to help poor people and we voted for the party which is doing it,” said Shahbuddin, a roadside vendor in Khahuri area of Karawal Nagar constituency.

A significant number of voters, however, were tight-lipped about the issues driving their choice.

Neelam Rani, who went to vote using a walker as she recently met with an accident, and her sister Rajender Tandon said the campaign for polls was “very nosiy”.

“We know what is right and what is wrong. There were many issues which we considered and voted accordingly,” they said after casting vote at a polling station in Vivek Vihar under Shahdara constituency.

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