NEW DELHI: Seelampur Assembly constituency in east Delhi is closely linked to the Emergency (1975-77) as it was established to relocate people, mainly Muslims displaced after demolition of their homes in the north and central Delhi then.
The constituency, which is predominantly Muslim, is currently held by the Aam Aadmi Party’s Mohammad Ishraque, who won the 2015 polls with over 51 per cent of the vote, defeating BJP’s Sanjay Jain and the Congress’ Chaudhary Mateen Ahmad, who had held the seat in the all five elections since 1993, when it was created.
The AAP has now fielded Abdul Rehman, who will face Congress’ Ahmed and BJP’s Kaushal Mishra in the February 8 Assembly elections.
It remains to be seen if Rehman can retain the seat for the AAP or will the minority”s votes be split, benefitting the BJP?
Seelampur is far from a salubrious spot.
With most e-waste from across the country coming to Delhi to be processed, Seelampur is one of the hotspots, which are mostly located near the Yamuna river and operate without health or environmental safeguards.
The e-waste processing units usually operate from dingy and shabby rooms of unauthorised colonies and slums, while there are open units also that do the processing near agricultural areas. The workers, including small children are regularly exposed to hazardous chemicals like lead, cadmium,and mercury, and many acidic effluents.
The area is also beset with many other problems.
Water logging during the rainy season, unavailability of clean drinking water during summers, lack of educational institutes, irregular colonies, traffic jams and law and order are the main problems that people of Seelampur face on a regular basis.
However, there has been some development with the construction of an elevated road two years ago that connects Seelampur to old Delhi, Paharganj and Tis Hazari and giving the area’s residents some relief from the traffic jams here.
Last month, Seelampur made headlines when many people were injured in violence that erupted during a protest against the Citizenship Amendment Act. Angry protestors allegedly torched several motorbikes, pelted stones at police personnel and damaged buses and a police booth in the area.