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Young professionals in MCD poll fray root for change

Monday April 09, 2012 03:05:53 PM, Nikhil Walia, IANS

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New Delhi: He has a masters in surgery from the Royal College of Surgeons - not someone you'd expect as a candidate in the Delhi civic polls. But Sambit Patra is one of the new breed of intelligent, young professionals who have jumped into the political fray with "change" as his agenda.

"Whenever my family used to sit down for lunch or dinner, we would discuss how the country's political system is decaying. So this time, I decided to stop talking and start doing," Patra, 37, told IANS.

He is the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) candidate from Kashmere Gate. Polls to the trifurcated 272-seat Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) will be held Sunday - and will see several young professionals contest.

While he himself comes from a well off family, Parikh believes well to do voters are less bothered about the elections than poorer ones.

"In my area, I find that the poor voters are more aware of the necessity of voting. The rich voters often don't bother as they think no matter what kind of governance, they can live comfortably," he said adding he wants to clean up the political system.

In Najafgarh, the western corner of the capital, another BJP candidate, Pankil Yadav, 28, has a similar agenda of change.

"People don't have a very good image of Najafgarh in their minds. The area is backward, but that's exactly what I want to change," Yadav, a management graduate and social worker, told IANS.

Yadav's focus is on improving the region's roads and education system and he goes home to home for campaigning.

"I have got my bio-data printed on a sheet. I go to people, make them read that sheet and listen to their issues. So far, I am very optimistic about the response I am getting from people," Yadav said.

Kapil Nagar, the 25-year-old Congress candidate from Kamla Nagar, has politics in his blood. The son of ex-legislator Nathu Ram Nagar, he was also involved in student politics and was a part of Delhi University Student's Union (DUSU).

"I am from a political family. My father was a legislator but I entered the MCD polls so that I could work at the grassroots," Nagar told IANS.

"My main aims are sanitation and cleanliness of the area. Another objective is the distribution of widow pension and I want to set up an old age home here," he added.

Another Congress candidate, Prerna Singh, 27, is a postgraduate in psychology and trained as a human resource development expert in Britain. But Singh is campaigning to be the next councillor from Inder Lok. Her husband Tarun Kumar won the seat last time.

"I was always deeply interested in social work, so when this year, Inder Lok was made a women's seat, I filed a nomination," Singh told IANS.

"I am sure of my win. People want good leadership and Tarun was doing a great job here and now I will continue on his path."

Canada-returned international business graduate Ankita Saini, 22, is the BJP candidate from Hauz Khas.

"Ninety percent people are convinced that it's we, the younger generation, that will make the change. Wherever I go, people treat me like their own daughter," Saini told IANS.

"My main focus is on education, creating awareness and cleanliness in my area and I am going on padyatras and meeting people throughout my area," she added.

"I was working in a multinational earlier but have quit the job and am working to improve the lives of my people," Saini said.

Close to 10 million voters will be eligible to cast the ballot in Sunday's elections.

(Nikhil Walia can be contacted at





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