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Parking and Pruning: Vasant Kunj’s ‘Newspaperwalla’ Makes Practical Poll Promises

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By: Urvashi Khona
Updated: November 19, 2022 15:56
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47-year-old Jagmohan Mehlawat, a newspaper vendor is BJP’s candidate of choice from the posh Vasant Kunj (ward number 156) for the upcoming civic polls.

A Jat candidate, Mehlawat’s USP is his love for Vasant Kunj and his deep knowledge of the problems ailing the area. “Vasant Kunj is the most beautiful area in India. The most educated and civilised people live here who swear by the motto of live and let live. Unfortunately, our roads don’t do justice to the natural surroundings here.”

For Mehlawat the biggest challenge facing Vasant Kunj is lack of parking space. “When DDA constructed flats here in 1986 no one knew India will be so rich one day that every house will have a car. So, parking has become a major problem here. We will try to solve that. Further, Metro work to connect Vasant Kunj is already on,” he says.

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Mehlawat also says that Vasant Kunj has a problem of huge trees that break into people’s walls and the branches may enter people’s houses. “Pruning is not allowed. If we come to power, people have to just give an application to seek permission for pruning.”

A self-made man, Mehlawat started working as a newspaper boy as a teenager. Today he sells around 40,000 newspapers. He also has his own publication that publishes two “News Of Week” and “What’s on Magazine” in the Vasant Kunj area.

Jagmohan is contesting against two Yadav brothers – Naresh Yadav and Naveen Yadav – one from Congress and another from AAP. “You can see that there is no difference between AAP and Congress. Both brothers wanted tickets from this ward and one of them ran to Congress for tickets.”

His work during the Corona period has earned him plenty of goodwill among people.

Mehlawat has plenty of selling points, the least of which are his Jat credentials. “The party hasn’t given me a ticket because I am a jat. I am very popular here for the work I have done. If you look back at the Corona period, Arvind Kejriwal wasn’t on the street helping people. He just locked himself up in his house claiming he has Corona. It was MCD and people like us who were taking care of people.”

He has been associated with the BJP for over two decades. He began as a normal karyakarta of BJP to Yuva Morcha President (Youth Wing) and rose up the ranks to become block President in 2007-08, and then District President in 2014-15.

Reacting on the recent water crisis in the area – Jagmohan says, “We all know what happened to the Jal Board after the Delhi CM made himself its chief. It has run into losses of 56000 cr. Some leaders were caught selling tankers in black. They are running a tanker mafia. BJP has nothing to do with this scarcity.”

Mehlawat is not only focused on the civic facilities of people of his ward. He also wants to address the problem of isolation and loneliness elderly population in the locality face because most of the younger generation has shifted abroad for studies or work. “We want to create an environment in which senior citizens feel loved, and safe. This is a place where several retired military personnel live. We can use their expertise to form a committee to make Vasant Kunj even more safe for people.”

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