War of words between Manoj Tiwari and Congress rival Kanhaiya Kumar

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Congress candidate from the North East Delhi constituency Kanhaiya Kumar speaks to the media after his name was announced for the upcoming Lok Sabha polls, in Nagpur on April 15.
| Photo Credit: ANI

A day after Congress fielded Kanhaiya Kumar from the North East Delhi Lok Sabha seat, BJP nominee Manoj Tiwari took a dig at him, saying he was on a “40-day tour” of the constituency and could see how an MP works in his area.

The Congress is contesting three of the total seven seats in the national capital under a seat-sharing agreement with its Indian National Developmental Inclusive Alliance (INDIA) partner AAP, and announced its candidates on Monday.

Mr. Tiwari, who is representing the North East Delhi seat for a second consecutive term, questioned, without naming Mr. Kumar, “how responsible could be those who led a tukde-tukde gang and who cannot respect the country and its army”.

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Mr. Kumar, a former Jawaharlal Nehru University Students Union (JNUSU) president, was involved in an incident on the campus in February 2016, in which slogans were raised allegedly against the country.

Mr. Tiwari said, “Those who have come for a 40-day tour will also see the work done with ₹14,600 crore in my area. They will see how, for the first time, metro trains, central schools, passport office, elevated roads and a bridge like the Signature bridge were developed in North East Delhi.”

The BJP MP alleged the Congress always “ignored” North East Delhi, and hoped Mr. Kumar would be able to see how an MP can do development works worth ₹14,600 crore in his constituency.

North East Delhi was hit by a riot in February 2020 in which over 50 people died and hundreds were injured besides a massive loss of public and private property. The constituency having a sizeable population of minorities, also has dominance of people from Bihar and Eastern Uttar Pradesh, loosely called as Purvanchalis.

Both Mr. Tiwari and Mr. Kumar hail from Bihar.

An interesting one-to-one contest in the North East Delhi constituency is on the cards with Mr. Tiwari, a popular Bhojpuri singer and actor, and young, vocal leader Mr. Kumar pitted against each another.

With the AAP and the Congress entering a seat-sharing agreement, all seven Lok Sabha constituencies in Delhi are going to witness a direct, one-to-one contest between the candidates of the INDIA bloc combine and the BJP in the May 25 polls.

The AAP has fielded candidates for East Delhi, West Delhi, South Delhi and New Delhi seats under the seat-sharing agreement.

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