Chandni Chowk is one of the seven parliamentary constituencies in the city that will go to polls on May 12 and is currently represented by veteran BJP leader Harsh Vardhan who had defeated Congress’s Kapil Sibal in the last election. The Congress, which is looking to make a comeback after being swept out of power in 2014, has fielded JP Aggarwal who is a local resident of the bustling trading hub of the city.
Chandini Chowk has 20 percent Muslim voters out of total of 14 lakh electorate.
In the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, Harsh Vardhan had got 4,37,938 votes (44.81 percent) while AAP’s Ashutosh managed 3,01,618 votes (30.86 percent) and Kapil Sibal of the Congress got 1,76,206 votes (18.03 percent).
Jai Prakash Agarwal, a four-time Lok Sabha MP and a veteran Congress leader, has returned to his home turf Chandni Chowk, to contest his ninth Lok Sabha election to take on the Aam Aadmi Party’s Pankaj Gupta and the Bharatiya Janata Party’s Harsh Vardhan.
Aggarwal represented Chandni Chowk three times and North East Delhi once in Parliament. He lost the last election in 2014 to BJP’s Manoj Tiwari from North East Delhi.
“But Chandni Chowk is home. I was born in Paranthewali Gali and raised in Naughara haveli. Even my voter ID is still from the Old Delhi address,” says the 74-year-old, the “most experienced Parliamentarian in the fray.”
The Aam Aadmi Party has fielded Mr. Pankaj Gupta against the two veterans. On being fielded against veteran politicians from the BJP and Congress, Mr Gupta said people have seen what they got by electing incumbent Harshvardhan.
“This is an election of bade kaam vs bade naam. Harshvardhan was a very big name but what did they give his constituency, people have seen. I wouldn’t comment on Congress (candidate JP Agarwal) because he is not a competition here,” he told news agency PTI.
Dr Vardhan attacked opposition parties for their ideology-less and leader-less ”Mahagathbandhan”. Terming it a front of ”opportunists” and ”corrupt” netas who have come together to grab power, he said Prime Minister Modi had today become a symbol of probity in public life.
“Opposition parties fear that once Narendra Modi becomes Prime Minister again, they will have to go to jail and rot there,” he said.
Further he added that BJP stood for growth and public welfare and added that neither the AAP nor Congress had any program or policy to match the BJP’s performance.