Ward number 102 S in Okhla is a Muslim dominated locality and for years Muslim candidates have won from here. But this may change this year after the rise of Sultan Ahmed, once a Congress and AAP die-hard supporter.
The buzz in the locality is that he is most probably the top contender for BJP ticket from this ward with large number of people from Bihar and Purvanchal with small pockets of Hindu population at Okhla Head, Nai Basti and Kalindi Colony, said local political observers.
Sources said after joining the BJP a few weeks ago, Sultan is allegedly very close to Delhi BJP chief Manoj Tiwari. Independent political observers strongly feel that if BJP gives ticket to Sultan from this ward then party’s chance to win from this seat brightens up. Their argument is that this could only happen when votes are divided among several candidates from Bihar and Purvanchalis and the majority pocket going for BJP candidate.
Looking at the scenario this doesn’t appear to be far-fetched observations as several political aspirants from Bihar are expecting tickets from national political parties. Though AAP has not given ticket to a Bihar or Purvanchali candidate and there is resentment against the party over this, said sources, the JD(U) has already given ticket to Sarwar Iqbal Khan.
A source said other than many candidates some six candidates from Bihar are in the line to get ticket and some are even ready to contest on independent tickets. It is understood that in coming three days things will be open with voters getting enough time to decide which candidate to vote.
Besides, there are many who are of the opinion that Muslims will never vote for the BJP. But there are others who point to UP elections where the BJP won from several Muslim dominated localities only because of vote division with too many Muslim candidates in the fray.
Moreover, there are many residents who are worried over large number of residents trying their luck in politics. “In Okhla every Tom, Dick and Harry wants to become a leader. From one area there are 50 candidates. And most of them would end up getting not more than 500 votes. But these people want to become leader. They have not learnt any lessons from Uttar Pradesh,” wrote one FB user Farhan Ali.
But it is too early to jump to conclusion as things can change too. A lot will depend on the voters how they go about as such fears were there in the last Assembly election too when AAP’s Amanatullah Khan and Congress’ Asif Md Khan were fighting with several other candidates in the fray.
Then the voters voted smartly and voted one sided in favour of AAP in hope that things would change.
But after two years many residents are disillusioned with AAP’s performance, said sources.
All told, there are some residents who still feel that AAP has done well at the State level by launching many schemes for them in health sector, education, power, water bills and other sections.
It would be interesting to see what narrative the AAP local candidate uses to win hearts and minds of voters.