The Delhi Assembly Election 2020 fever is running high across the state and the Delhi Cantt constituency is no exception. The seat, which went to Aam Aadmi Party in 2015, is bracing up for a close fight this time with no single candidate standing out as a clear choice. Surender Commando, the sitting MLA has been denied a ticket this time by Arvind Kejriwal’s AAP. The residents of Delhi Cantt are facing a situation where they hardly know their candidates as the key parties like the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) have opted for fresh faces. Residents also feel that all the parties have gone for candidates who are ‘outsiders’.
AAP has fielded Virender Singh Kadian who is a retired Air Force officer. BJP has fielded Purvanchali candidate Manish Singh, known as a close aide of the Delhi BJP President Manoj Tiwari while Congress has gone with long-time loyalist Sandeep Tanwar.
The general feeling among the resident of Delhi Cantt is that the incumbent AAP MLA Surender Commando was a no show in the last 5 years. Mayank Sugandh, a resident of Sadar Bazar, said, “Surrender Commando did not do much for the people of Delhi Cantt. Some work like beautification of the streets/roads in areas like Gopinath Bazar was done, the things did not improve for those living in the colonies.”
One of the main issue in Delhi Cantt is that the houses that come under the Cantonment Board are given out on lease for 90 years. For people, whose lease have come to an end, renewal of the lease is becoming a hectic task. In this regard, Sugandh said, "For renewal of the lease, a heavy penalty is being charged. The leases get renewed from the Western Command as it is the head of all Cantonment Boards.”
Virender Singh Kadian, despite not yet being considered as a localite, has his office in Sadar Bazar. Meanwhile, Manish Singh, who reportedly wanted a ticket from Karolbagh/Paharganj area, was given a ticket from Delhi Cantt in place of a localite which has resulted in mixed feelings amongst people.
Sandeep Tanwar of the Congress Party is also likely to give a tough fight to the two candidates, Tanwar who lives in Naraina has been fielding campaigning with full strength leading up to the elections but by denying ticket to Surender Commando, the AAP might just be able to beat the anti-incumbency factor.