GK: Where MP meets former Councillor in 'close contest'

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New Delhi, Nov 23 (UNI) Considered one of the most prized constituencies of the national capital of Delhi, the Greater Kailash Assembly seat has BJP's chief ministerial candidate and Congress' Leader of House in the Municipal Corporation, along with half a dozen others, crossing swords.

While BRT Corridor, slum development, and sealing are primary concerns of the area people, issues that are dear to voters include what the entire Delhi was talking about: price rise, electricity and water supply, better transport service above all the perennial nag - corruption.

Though not much of a contest exists against BJP stalwart V K Malhotra, Congress' J Kochchar is no greenhorn either, not to talk about a resurgent BSP and a domineering novice in Samajwadi Party's Neelam Saxena.

Mr Malhotra, riding on the anti-incumbency factor of Congress' 10-year rule, says ''mehnga raashan, saasti jaan'' is the issue, whether in his constituency or entire Delhi.

''Civic amenities, killer BRT corridor and sealing of shops of petty businessmen are just the other part. People are asking how do we survive this 'mehngai' onslaught.'' Deriding the 'development plank' of the Congress in Delhi, the BJP leader said he would be privileged to know how much did they take care of basic issues -- bijli, pani, sadak -- which dog the common man. ''Do flyovers, over-bridges and foot-bridges come under development?'' And above all, the various scams that have made life hell for Delhi denizens, he said, adding whether it was fast running electricity meters, erratic and expensive water supply and down-in-the-drain roads -- all these definitely have a larger impact on the 'aam admi' than most of the issues facing us.

On what makes for his USP, the South Delhi MP said clean image, down to earth appeal and work done over the years would help people identify him, while Congress' misdeeds of ten years would do it in.

Congress candidate Jitendra Kocchar, whose rags to riches story is now part of party folklore, is ''101 per cent sure of winning the seat'' as Mr Malhotra hardly visited his South Delhi constituency during the last five years and was just not accessible, he claims.

Conceding that Malhotra was his only rival, among the total of eight contestants from the seat, Kocchar said his party's ten-year rule had brought so much development to Delhi that people would not want to break that stream of progress seen all around.

''This talk of anti-incumbancy factor does not arise when progress is visible for all to see.'' On his USP, Kocchar says age was on his side and the youth easily identified themselves with him. ''They see me as a development model and the vehicle of progress.'' Stressing that the BSP was a non-entity in Greater Kailash constituency and that his 'opposition' did not have an issue to pin him down, Kocchar said, ''I have openly challenged Mr Malhotra for a public debate which he has never accepted. What more proof is needed regarding this?'' Another candidate, who has made some impact in the area in recent times, is Samajwadi Party's Neelam Saxena. A political rookie, Ms Saxena is a celebrity fashion designer who plunged into the cesspool of politics owing to circumstances.

''My entire set-up was attached during the sealing drive and my thriving business came to a standstill. It was then that I decided I need to have power to fight injustice.'' Promising a ''refreshing change'' if elected, despite her 'novice status', Ms Saxena said, ''My appeal to the people is - No politics, please walk with me.'' Stating that BRT, demolition and sealing were going to be 'big issues' during the November 29 polls, the SP candidate said basic amenities would also affect voters, adding that it was the confidence in her that Samajwadi Party gave her a ticket.

''Even if I don't win, I am sure I would put up a big fight.'' UNI AN SY RK1100

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