Minister Haroon Yusuf could face a tough contest in Ballimaran
New Delhi: Ballimaran, a predominantly Muslim settlement has been a Congress bastion since 1993 with Power Minister Haroon Yusuf winning four back-to-back elections but it may throw up a surprise this time due to "unkept" promise by the ruling party to ramp up infrastructure in the area.
One of the oldest colonies of Delhi which was once home to the master of Urdu poetry Mirza Ghalib, most of Ballimaran has now turned into wholesale market, bustling with shops and honking vehicles on the clogged roads.
The narrow congested bylanes, darkness in the evening and overhead power cables have become synonymous with the area. Lack of parking space and poor condition of some of the residential buildings were other major problems in the area.
Though roads have been well maintained and kept clean for the settlement which is centuries old, the real problem is that nothing has changed when it comes to infrastructure.
A section of locals accused Yusuf of being "inaccessible" and claimed that voting for Congress has been their compulsion rather than a choice.
"He stays in his Rouse Avenue bungalow and rarely visited the area in the past. The major problem here has been scarcity of water. As elections are approaching, several borwells have been dug. Although the work is still incomplete, posters have come up claiming credit for solving water problem of the area," said Haji Ismail, a local.
Talking about the hanging power cables, another resident Rafiq Ali said Yusuf had on so many occasions assured that the wires will put underground but nothing has been done so far.
Besides the development issue, the coming battle could be tough for Yusuf as both Aam Aadmi Party and BSP have fielded Muslim candidates.
"Muslims vote for Congress mainly because they don`t want to vote for BJP. With Farhana Anjum from AAP and Imran Hussain from BSP in the fray this time, the Muslim vote may get divided," said Hashim Beg, a resident of the area.
He also points out that Congress lost three of the four municipal wards in the MCD elections last year. Interestingly two municipal wards were won by BJP while RLD came out victorious in another ward.
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