Adarsh Nagar’s battle: Congress and BJP in tight race


Adarsh Nagar is one of the Muslim-majority assembly constituencies in the capital. After coming into existence in 2008 following delimitation, this seat remained a stronghold of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) for 10 years, but in the 2018 elections, Congress succeeded in breaking the BJP’s dominance on this seat. In the upcoming elections on November 25, slum voters, as in the previous elections, will determine the decision of victory or defeat. Perhaps this is the reason that Congress and BJP candidates are leaving no stone unturned to garner votes in these slums. Spread over approximately 32 square kilometres, this assembly seat is considered prosperous in terms of business and industry, but the city’s largest slum is also in this area.
Water, cleanliness, and roads are the main issues:
In the Adarsh Nagar assembly constituency, besides water, roads and cleanliness are the main issues. These issues have been contested in the last three elections, and to this day, they remain unresolved. Some work has been done on the roads, but it is like a drop in the bucket. Apart from Congress and BJP, the Aam Aadmi Party is also bringing these issues back into focus. For the residents of slums, these three issues are paramount.
Three Muslim candidates face tough competition:
In this seat, apart from Congress candidate Rafiq Khan, there are three other Muslim candidates in the field. Everyone knows that these Muslim candidates are standing not to win but to divide Muslim votes. In the last elections in 2018, leaving Congress, other Muslim candidates secured 2,342 votes. This time, there are three other Muslim candidates in the field. Among them are Umar Daraj of the Aam Aadmi Party, Jafar Akhtar of the AIMIM, and independent Rumana Qureshi. These three independents are certain to pose a challenge to Rafiq Khan’s victory. These three candidates are also proving beneficial for the BJP.
Anger due to lack of regulation:
There is anger towards Congress due to the lack of regulation in the colonies in the ecological zone. Wards 99 and 100 of the Heritage Department fall in this ecological zone. BJP is hoping to take advantage of this. People are being assured of regulation. There is a significant number of voters in these colonies, and efforts are being made to attract them.
BJP changes its candidate:
In 2008 and 2013, Ashok Parnami of the BJP won this seat. Parnami defeated Congress expert Ajaad by a mere 1,718 votes in 2008, becoming the first MLA of Adarsh Nagar. Such a narrow margin victory indicated that the BJP could face competition here. After five years, in the 2013 elections, Ajaad challenged Ashok Parnami again. Ajaad faced defeat again. This time, the margin of defeat was 3,803 votes. In the 2018 elections, Congress fielded Rafiq Khan, a resident of Jhunjhunu, against Parnami. Rafiq Khan defeated Ashok Parnami by a margin of 12,553 votes, raising the party’s flag. Ashok Parnami remained inactive in the area for a full five years, so he had to pay the price for it. This time, the BJP has presented a new face, Ravi Kumar Nayyar, against Congress. Ravi Nayyar is quite active politically and is also the coordinator of the BJP state business cell. The Punjabi community is significant in Adarsh Nagar. BJP is also betting on Ravi Nayyar to capture the votes of this community.
NOTA stood third in 2018:
Voters in the Adarsh Nagar assembly seat do not prefer any third party other than Congress and BJP. This is evident from the fact that in the 2013 elections, NOTA obtained 1,264 votes and stood fourth. In the elections five years later, NOTA secured the third position with 1,493 votes. This means that the number of voters who do not prefer either Congress or BJP is consistently increasing. This time, let’s see how successful NOTA is in garnering votes.

Voter statistics of Adarsh Nagar
Total voters       2,68,880
Male                 1,41,191
Female             1,27,164
Third gender     25

Political history of Adarsh Nagar
Year         MLA Party
2008       Ashok Parnami Bharatiya Janata Party
2013      Ashok Parnami Bharatiya Janata Party
2018      Rafiq Khan Indian National Congress