Campaigning ends in high-stake Bawana assembly bypoll

New Delhi, Aug 21 : Campaigning for the Bawana bypoll ended on Monday, with the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Congress trying their best to woo the voters in the constituency.

The bypoll in Bawana got necessitated after AAP MLA Ved Prakash quit the party and resigned from the Delhi Assembly membership to join the BJP in March ahead of the municipal corporation election.

Around 2.94 lakh voters of Bawana will cast their votes on August 23 at 379 polling booths to elect a new face to represent them in the Delhi Assembly.

Prakash is now contesting the elections on a BJP ticket while the AAP has shown its faith in Ram Chandra — a popular Poorvanchali face — with a hope that he would be able to mobilise the migrants from Bihar and eastern Uttar Pradesh. Three-time MLA from Bawana Surender Kumar is contesting on the Congress ticket.

With a hope to reclaim the Bawana assembly seat — one of the 12 reserved constituencies for Scheduled Castes in the assembly — the AAP is leaving no stone unturned to woo the voters. On the last day of campaigning, the party organised a massive roadshow, which was joined with Delhi Cabinet Minister Gopal Rai and AAP leaders Ashutosh and Dilip Pandey.

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and his cabinet ministers Manish Sisodia, Kailash Gahlot and Rai had been addressing rallies and doing door to door campaigning to connect with the voters of the assembly.

Rai, who is incharge of Bawana bypoll, said that the AAP was “confident” of its candidate’s win.

“People are extending support to us. They know that the ruling government can bring development to the area. They know that the BJP and the Congress did nothing for their region,” Rai said.

Similarly, on the last day of public campaigning, the Congress conducted 60 corner meetings and held six footmarchs in favour of its candidate Surender Kumar.

Delhi Congress President Ajay Maken said people from all strata of society, castes and religions were extending their support to Kumar as he had achieved a “formidable reputation” for carrying out development works during his 15 years as the area’s MLA.

Delhi BJP President Manoj Tiwari conducted door to door campaigning in several areas of the constituency and also had lunch with the slum-dwellers of Block A in Shahabad Dairy area.

The Bawana assembly segment consists of 26 villages, slum clusters, unauthorised colonies and parts of Rohini’s sector 20 and 21.

The BJP represented the seat on two occasions — in 1993 and 2013, while the AAP won in 2015.

Meanwhile, the AAP on Monday filed a police complaint against “fake posters” circulated to defame Delhi Minister Imran Hussain and to instigate violence between the communities.

The AAP alleged in the complaint that some miscreants were “deliberately” circulating objectionable and communal posters — which also carried the image of Imran Hussain — to malign the image of the party.

“It is categorically stated that neither the AAP nor any of its leaders has printed or asked for the distribution of the said poster,” the AAP said in its complaint.

They also registered a complaint with the Election Commission in this connection.

In the same case, the BJP also approached the Election Commission against the AAP and registered a complaint against the party for distributing the pamphlets for creating “religious hatred” in the constituency.


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