New Delhi, Jan 15 : The Shakur Basti assembly constituency in Delhi, home to slum clusters and a diverse demography, becomes significant in this assembly election as the area has elected AAP's Satyendar Jain twice and if elected again, he will make a hat-trick, a feat no MLA has achieved so far.
While Jain, the Delhi Health Minister, has been praised worldwide for reforms in the health sector, back home, his constituency still needs a lot of attention from him.
Jain is also the Delhi Cabinet minister for Industries, Power, Public Works, Home and Urban Development.
According to the people here, the MLA had been missing mostly from the Constituency. "We understand that he is a minister, so we expected more from him. But we hardly saw him in the last five years," said 35-year-old Pankaj from the constituency.
While people praised the government for the work, they did not seem very pleased with Jain. "He has been mostly missing. Now you can see him as elections are approaching," said 25-year-old Ankit Yadav, who runs a grocery shop.
According to 58-year-old Mohan, lack of proper road, piped water and sewer had been the main concerns of the area. "While few pockets have seen improvement, most of the area is still in bad shape. The work of pipeline and sewer too are incomplete. If they (AAP) are saying elections will be on the basis of the work they have done, they should have at least seen the ground reality," said Mohan.
The constituency is part of Chandni Chowk Lok Sabha seat, bagged by the BJP in the 2019 general elections.
The Assembly constituency includes old and new Multan Nagar, Paschim Puri, Paschim Vihar, Peera Garhi, Pitampura, Saraswati Vihar, Rani Bagh, Rishi Nagar and Saraswati Vihar.
In 1993, during the first assembly elections, Gauri Shankar Bhardwaj was elected on BJP ticket.
In the next election, when the Congress came to power for the first time in Delhi in 1998, the seat was bagged by S.C. Vats. He was re-elected in 2003. However, BJP's Shyam Lal Garg defeated him in 2008.
In 2012, the political landscape of Delhi changed when AAP was formed and that affected the 2013 and 2015 assembly elections in Shakur Basti also.
Jain won the seat both in 2013 and 2015. While in 2013, he got 42.30 per cent votes, his vote share increased to 48.67 per cent in 2015.
For the 2020 assembly elections to be held on February 8, the AAP has re-launched Jain as the candidate from Shakur Basti. The Congress and the BJP are yet to announce their candidates from here.
A densely populated area, the constituency has over 1.45 lakh votes with over 70,000 females. The constituency has a sex ratio of 943 - above the state's gender ratio of 824.
(Nivedita Singh can be contacted at email@example.com)