MCD Elections 2017: A peek into the lives of rickshaw puller campaigners

Chanchal Chauhan
While most of the political parties have been making use of battery operated E rickshaws, Bharatiya Janata Party and Swaraj India candidates have been using paddle rickshaws as they are cheaper.

New Delhi, April 13: It is election season in the capital city and we all have seen rickshaw wallahs and battery operated E rickshaws campaigning on behalf of candidates contesting in MCD Elections 2017. The voting for MCD Elections 2017 has been scheduled for April 23 and the counting of the votes for April 26. India.com met a group of people campaigning for the candidates from various political parties and understood MCD Elections from their point of view who, as we understood, failed to realise what they are a part of.

“I don’t know what is it (campaign) for,” chuckled Mukesh who has been campaigning for Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in west Delhi. “I have been been campaigning on behalf of them for last five days. I start at 9 AM and wrap the campaigning up by 8 PM,” Mukesh added.

“I get Rs 1000 per day for campaigning,” Pawan (name changed) said. On being asked about the number of rounds he make around West Patel Nagar, Mukesh said that there’s no number set for it. “I roam around the area for 11 hours. I do take breaks and they (the party) provide lunch. I have been campaigning for last five days and it is a good source of income,” he added.

Upon being asked if he knows what he has been a part of for last five days, he told us that he doesn’t. “It is about money. We get money and we don’t care beyond that. Government anyway doesn’t care about us,” he added. (Also Read: Ahead of civic polls, RWAs accuse Arvind Kejriwal of failing to keep promises made to them.

While most of the political parties have been making use of battery operated E rickshaws, Bharatiya Janata Party and Swaraj India candidates have been using paddle rickshaws as they are cheaper. “Yes, they are cheaper,” Kumar (name changed) said, a supporter of Bhawana Malik, candidate from BJP for Mayur Vihar phase II ward in East Delhi Municipal Corporation (EDMC). (Also Read: BJP supported by 34% Delhi residents, AAP to emerge second, predicts ABP News – C-Voter survey)

“I get Rs 500 and I work for 12 hours a day, from 8 AM to 8 PM,” said Sonu Kumar, a paddle rickshaw puller in Mayur Vihar phase II ward. On being asked if he knows what he is a part of, Sonu explained MCD with much pride.

Another paddle rickshaw puller Manish has been campaigning for Yogendra Yadav-led Swaraj India for MCD Elections 2017. “I am campaigning for Shubha Sharma from Swaraj India and I hope she wins,” he said. On being asked why does he want Swaraj India to win, Manish said, “Arvind Kejriwal makes false promises, that’s why Yadav ji left his party. He will do something for Delhi.”

While there’s a fierce contest between these political parties, there were these people who had bonded over one thing they have in common, three square meals and a place to sleep.