Vote for the 'other' candidate: Eunuchs tell Delhi
27, braces for an early start to the day at 9 a.m. After a quick
breakfast of tea and snacks, the eunuch from the Nangloi area
steps out of her one-room office to greet around 50 supporters,
including men and women. She is a candidate for the Delhi civic
New Delhi: He has a
masters in surgery from the Royal College of Surgeons - not
someone you'd expect as a candidate in the Delhi civic polls. But Sambit Patra is one of the new breed of intelligent, young
professionals who have jumped into the political fray with
"change" as his agenda.
"Whenever my family used to sit down for lunch or dinner, we would
discuss how the country's political system is decaying. So this
time, I decided to stop talking and start doing," Patra, 37, told
He is the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) candidate from Kashmere
Gate. Polls to the trifurcated 272-seat Municipal Corporation of
Delhi (MCD) will be held Sunday - and will see several young
While he himself comes from a well off family, Parikh believes
well to do voters are less bothered about the elections than
"In my area, I find that the poor voters are more aware of the
necessity of voting. The rich voters often don't bother as they
think no matter what kind of governance, they can live
comfortably," he said adding he wants to clean up the political
In Najafgarh, the western corner of the capital, another BJP
candidate, Pankil Yadav, 28, has a similar agenda of change.
"People don't have a very good image of Najafgarh in their minds.
The area is backward, but that's exactly what I want to change,"
Yadav, a management graduate and social worker, told IANS.
Yadav's focus is on improving the region's roads and education
system and he goes home to home for campaigning.
"I have got my bio-data printed on a sheet. I go to people, make
them read that sheet and listen to their issues. So far, I am very
optimistic about the response I am getting from people," Yadav
Kapil Nagar, the 25-year-old Congress candidate from Kamla Nagar,
has politics in his blood. The son of ex-legislator Nathu Ram
Nagar, he was also involved in student politics and was a part of
Delhi University Student's Union (DUSU).
"I am from a political family. My father was a legislator but I
entered the MCD polls so that I could work at the grassroots,"
Nagar told IANS.
"My main aims are sanitation and cleanliness of the area. Another
objective is the distribution of widow pension and I want to set
up an old age home here," he added.
Another Congress candidate, Prerna Singh, 27, is a postgraduate in
psychology and trained as a human resource development expert in
Britain. But Singh is campaigning to be the next councillor from
Inder Lok. Her husband Tarun Kumar won the seat last time.
"I was always deeply interested in social work, so when this year,
Inder Lok was made a women's seat, I filed a nomination," Singh
"I am sure of my win. People want good leadership and Tarun was
doing a great job here and now I will continue on his path."
Canada-returned international business graduate Ankita Saini, 22,
is the BJP candidate from Hauz Khas.
"Ninety percent people are convinced that it's we, the younger
generation, that will make the change. Wherever I go, people treat
me like their own daughter," Saini told IANS.
"My main focus is on education, creating awareness and cleanliness
in my area and I am going on padyatras and meeting people
throughout my area," she added.
"I was working in a multinational earlier but have quit the job
and am working to improve the lives of my people," Saini said.
Close to 10 million voters will be eligible to cast the ballot in
(Nikhil Walia can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)