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Boxer Vijender Singh vows to fight water supply woes in South Delhi

Hemlata Devi, 68, was left bewildered when professional boxer Vijender Singh stepped out of his vehicle, approached her and asked about her prime concerns. Before she could find her voice and speak, Singh was swept away by a swarm of local supporters.

On Friday, Congress’ 33-year-old Lok Sabha candidate from South Delhi led his first election campaign, a door-to-door procession, for which he chose Tigri village in the Sangam Vihar assembly segment.

The urban village is home to a wide mix of people, including Gujjars, Jats, upper-caste Hindus, Dalits and Muslims.

For Devi, and a dozen other women, the top concern was water. “I just wish I could tell him that,” said a disappointed Devi.

“Water supply is inadequate and often leads to violent fights among locals who stand in queue for their day’s quota,” 50-year-old Tara Devi said, adding that her son and husband have sustained severe injuries on two such occasions in the last three years.

Residents said they have to buy a 200-litre drum of water for around ₹100. “Water in Sangam Vihar is accessible to those who either have money or muscle,” Devi said.

As Singh and his supporters zig-zagged through the lanes, the professional boxer did brief stopovers to greet youngsters at momo stalls, garland an elderly man at a sweet shop and touch the feet of an old woman.

“It seems like he is on a ‘campaign express’. After all, he is a sportsperson,” said Munna Khan, 57, who shook hands with the boxer. Khan, whose family migrated to Tigri from Agra 35 years ago, said, “For any candidate, no matter how much star appeal one has, it will be tough to compete with the AAP, especially in Sangam Vihar.”

Singh even kept his conversations short. Speaking with reporters, he said, “I am here to connect with the people and know about the local issues. I have learnt that water is a major issue here and I will ensure it is taken care of.”

First Published:
Apr 27, 2019 06:09 IST

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