Free handouts hurt the middle class. Our money pays for it: Delhi Voter

| Updated: 25 May, 2024 5:15 pm IST

NEW DELHI: The sixth phase of voting in the current Lok Sabha election is under way in 58 seats, including all the seven seats in the national capital, Delhi.

Indian meteorological Department (IMD) has issued a heatwave “red alert” for Delhi and surrounding states.
Even this scorching heat has not deterred Delhi voters from exercising their right in this festival of democracy.
The New Indian team, braving the heat, ventured through the street of Andrews Ganj, known for its posh market in South Extension and Janpath, famous for its boutique stores selling unique products. We tried to understand the election mood on the day of polling.

Among some prominent candidates, Kanhaiya Kumar, a former student leader and fierce critic of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, is challenging sitting MP Manoj Tiwari, regional Bhojpuri language cinema actor and singer, in the North East Delhi constituency, while BJP, has fielded Bansuri Swaraj, the 40-year-old daughter of former Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj, for the New Delhi seat. She is being challenged by AAP’s Somnath Bharti.Delhites are determined to send a clear message that everyone should come out and vote, no matter who you vote for.

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A female voter in Janpath, when questioned about the reasons for her vote, said “The cultural differences are narrowing. After a period of chasing modernization, people are returning to Sanatan Dharam, our traditional beliefs and customs. The mindset of the new generation is evolving as well. They are now embracing traditions, which is of utmost importance. And we should thank the people who have worked hard to bring this about.”

She seems to be satisfied with the government and wants it to continue.
While encouraging voters to come out and vote, she had an interesting remark, “Government is working hard for the heat and pollution, but we need to do our part too. We should embrace naturopathy, and if we do, nature will take care of us”
When probed further, she was convinced that BJP will definitely win.
Coming to the polling booth to enquire about the voting procedure for the elderly, a male voter in Janpath had a genuine complaint, “My mother is 90 years old. We heard there was a pick-and-drop service to vote for people like her. But now when I asked the officials, they said it was not approved. So, now one vote is wasted. This system has completely failed.”

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A woman in her 70s replied, “We don’t have any favourites. Whoever wins should work hard and be dedicated towards the people” when asked which party she wants to see forming the government.
When asked about the Delhi government scheme for women (Mukhyamantri Mahila Samman Yojana) where every woman resident of Delhi will get Rs. 1,000 monthly, she retorted, “the free handouts like this scheme is bad. It hurts the middle class because the money will come out of our own pockets.”

The battle for Delhi has gotten ugly with the Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal unleashing a sharp attack on Modi after getting out of jail on bail in a corruption case. He has accused the BJP of using investigative agencies to frame him. A number of opposition leaders have either been jailed or are facing corruption cases. Kejriwal’s AAP has joined forces with the Congress to wrest the seven seats from the BJP.
There are about 969 million registered voters to elect 543 members of Lok Sabha, the lower house of parliament, in the world’s largest democratic exercise over six weeks.
The fate of all the candidates will be decided on 4th of June when the election results come out.

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