East Delhi candidates: BJP’s Gambhir takes on AAP’s Atishi in controversial showdown

In a contest mired in controversy, former cricketer Gautam Gambhir is up against AAP's Atishi credited with transforming Delhi's public schools. Meanwhile the Congress fields local lad and four-time MLA, Arvinder Singh Lovely, who says he is here to stay.

With inputs from Sri Krishna

Known as the Jamuna Paar constituency, East Delhi’s 10 assembly segments, Jangpura, Okhla, Trilokpuri, Kondli, Patparganj, Laxmi Nagar, Vishwas Nagar, Krishna Nagar, Gandhi Nagar and Shahdara, suffer from infrastructure, sanitation and transport challenges. The constituency, considered one of the least developed areas in the capital, was born out of two delimitation exercises, in 1993 and 2008. So far, two Lok Sabha elections have been held here, with the Congress winning in 2009 and the BJP winning in 2014. 

A total of 26 candidates are contesting from political parties and as independents from East Delhi. The Election Commission of India (ECI) has rejected 30 applications for the constituency for various reasons.

According to the ECI website, the constituency has a total of 20,39,220 voters.

[flexiblemap src=”http://data.opencity.in/Data/Delhi-Parliament-Constituency-East-Delhi-Map-V-1.kml” width=”100%” height=”400px” ]

Note – Map for representation purpose | Source – http://datameet.org

2014 Lok Sabha Elections

Incumbent MP: Maheish Girri

Name of candidate Party Votes secured Vote share (over total votes polled)
Maheish Girri BJP 5,72,202 47.83
Rajmohan Gandhi AAP 3,81,739 31.91
Sandeep Dikshit INC 2,03,240 16.99
Javed Ansari BSP 11,975 0.42

Source: ECI

Know your candidates

Gautam Gambhir (Bharatiya Janata Party)

Pic: Facebook

Former India international cricketer Gautam Gambhir joined the BJP in March, 2019 and was chosen to represent East Delhi. His nomination is being contested by the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) which contends that he holds two voter ID cards. Gambhir rejected the AAP challenger’s challenge for a debate saying the last four years have seen only debates and little work on the ground.

BJP candidate Gautam Gambhir, 37, is rather proud of his pedigree as a product of Delhi’s posh Modern School which, the retired cricketer says, “delivers” youth who have enough opportunities to achieve his or her dreams. Gambhir says his aim is to make sure that people get clean drinking water, to shut down the unhealthy Ghazipur landfill and create an East Delhi university campus.

More details can be found in the affidavit filed with the ECI here.

Financial details of candidate

Year Assets Liabilities
2019 1,21,41,01,376 (movable) + 28,00,00,000 (immovable) 35,53,01,812

Source: MyNeta

Atishi (Aam Admi Party)

Pic: Facebook

For Atishi, the AAP contestant from here, this is the first foray into electoral politics. She has served as Advisor to Delhi’s Deputy CM. As in all the Delhi contests, AAP’s main electoral plank is the demand for full statehood for Delhi which can help solve issues like lack of job openings, college admissions, affordable housing and women’s safety, says Atishi. Close to 75-80 per cent of East Delhi lives in slums, unauthorised and resettlement colonies, which is the AAP’s vote bank AAP. Atishi has been nurturing the constituency for almost a year hoping that the extra face time with voters will give her an advantage.

Atishi, a product of St Stephens College and a masters in History Oxford University, is widely credited with the positive transformation of government schools in Delhi. She pointed out in a tweet that in the past four and a half years, the AAP government has built two new schools of excellence, two talent schools, two university campuses and 25 mohalla clinics in East Delhi with another 32 under construction.

More details can be found in the affidavit filed with the ECI here.

Read our interview with Atishi here (from the archives).

Financial details of candidate

Year Assets Liabilities
2019 1,25,12,823 (movable) + Nil (immovable) Nil

Source: MyNeta

Arvinder Singh Lovely (Indian National Congress)

Pic: Facebook

Arvinder Singh Lovely, 50, has served as Congress MLA four times from the Gandhi Nagar constituency and has been state minister for Urban Development, Education, Tourism and Transportation as Minister under Shiela Dixit. A local lad, having grown up in the Gandhi Nagar area of this constituency, Arvinder Singh Lovely keeps touting his local roots.

“For Gautam Gambhir and Atishi, elections are like picnic, they come and then go back home. But Arvinder Singh Lovely was born here and will die here,” he says in his campaign speeches. Lovely, a graduate of Delhi university, has never lost an election and won by the largest margin in Delhi in three of the last four elections.

More details can be found in the affidavit filed with the ECI here.

Financial details of candidate

Year Assets Liabilities
2019 3,24,52,066 (movable) + 1,80,00,000 (immovable) Nil

Source: MyNeta

List of other candidates contesting from East Delhi

S. No Name Party Symbol Age Education Occupation
1 Sanjay Kumar Bahujan Samaj Party Elephant 48 Diploma Social Worker
2 Ajay Chaudhury Aapki Apni Party Battery Torch 42 Class XII Private sector employee
3 Anupam Tripathy Bharatiya Kisan Party Cot 38 LLB Advocate
4 Amanullah Ahmad Bharatiya Insan Party Diamond 34 Diploma Businessman
5 Dr Krishan Chauhan People’s Party of India Fruit Basket 56 PhD Advocate
6 Deepti Nadella Pyramid Party of India Pineapple 38 MBA Meditation instructor
7 Durga Prasad Challengers


Tyre 53 BE Politician
8 Neeru Mongia Prism Triangle 40 BL Advocate
9 Mukesh Jhadley Uttarakhand Pragatisheel Party Television 48 M.Com Consultant
10 Mohan Lal Sharma Satya Bahumat Party Black Board 72 ML Advocate
11 Manjeet Singh Rashtra Nirman Party Pot 31 LLB Advocate
12 Manju Chhibber Republican Party of India Sewing Machine 64 BA House wife
13 Satish Prajapati Mazdoor Kirayedar Vikas Party Cylinder 48 Class VIII Businessman
14 Surender Gupta National Apni Party Belt 43 Class VII Self-employed
15 Hafiz Burhanuddin Naitonal Roadmap Party of India Stove 57 MA Private Contractor
16 Hitesh Kumar Jai Prakash Janata Dal Diesel Pump 38 ML Advocate
17 Ashok Surana Independent Helicopter 44 BA Social Worker
18 Manoj Gupta Independent Bat 42 MCA Teacher
19 Ravi Kumar Independent Plate of Food 53 B.Com Activist
20 Rahimuddin Shah Independent Auto Rickshaw 39 Class X Real Estate Agent
21 Raj Dhingiya Independent Hand Cart 40 MA Unemployed
22 Shiv Kumar Independent Ship 45 Class VI Painter
23 Harbalwinder Singh Independent Whistle 38 MBA Director

Issues in the constituency

Gambhir replaces Maheish Girri, who seems to have faded into the oblivion he came from. Known as the “invisible MP,” Girri’s only claim to fame was his association with Sri Sri Ravishankar’s controversial culture festival held on the Jamuna river plains some years back.

Concerned over the impact of the sealing drive (closure of unauthorised shops on SC orders) on the party’s electoral prospects, the BJP has been reaching out to the trading community with Union minister and Rajya Sabha MP Vijay Goel meeting with traders’ associations in the constituency.

Party leaders said workers also visited each market to tell traders about steps taken by the Centre to ease the implementation of the goods and services tax, the other sticking point with small traders, the BJP’s traditional support base.

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