Campaigning ends for Delhi polls
Campaigning for the Dec 4 Delhi assembly elections ended Monday evening as all three main parties - the Congress, BJP and AAP - held over 25 meetings, road shows and rallies all over the capital in a last-minute effort to woo voters.
Heavy traffic snarls were seen in some parts of the city as campaigners wound their way around while stray incidents of violence marred the campaigning on the final day.
In their last press conference before the polls, each party claimed it will get a clear majority in the 70-member Delhi assmbly, while both the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Congress dismissed the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) as any serious threat.
"The anti-Congress wave, a swing towards the BJP and better coordination at the booth level will ensure that the BJP forms the government in Delhi with a sizeable majority," said Leader of Opposition in the Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj.
Party colleague and Leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha Arun Jaitley said AAP's media presence was disproportionate to its following and all that needs to be seen is whether AAP would be able to make its presence felt.
On the other hand, the Congress boasted of the development work done during its 15-year regime and claimed that it will be voted to power for the fourth consecutive time.
Meanwhile, AAP chief Arvind Kejriwal took to the streets, meeting his supporters and urging them to help him "eradicate corruption".
"I am meeting as many people as possible and want them to pledge that they will help me eradicate corruption. We have already done an intensive door-to-door campaigning," he said.
The party has claimed it will get between 38 to 50 seats in Delhi.
The AAP has made the Delhi assembly elections a three-way affair for the first time. Till now, the electoral battle in the capital was always fought between the Congress and the BJP or its earlier avtar, the Jana Sangh.
While the last day of campaigning went off peacefully, stray incidents of violence were reported from some parts of the city.
BJP state unit president Vijay Goel lodged a complaint with the Election Commission against some individuals who allegedly attacked him while he was campaigning in Rajpura area in north Delhi.
Goel alleged that the men came with iron rods and hockey sticks and attacked his car. While he managed to escape unhurt, his driver was injured in the attack, he said.
In another incident, unidentified people reportedly attacked and injured the driver of a BJP candidate from Badli, north Delhi.
The BJP's campaign, led by its prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi, overshadowed the other two parties.
Modi's rallies held across the city were a hit and were attended by thousands of people, whereas the Congress poll campaign led by party chief Sonia Gandhi and vice president Rahul Gandhi got a lukewarm response.
On the other hand, the AAP did not organise any mega rally and limited itself to door-to-door campaigning.
The last day's over two dozen rallies and road shows choked many arterial roads in the city, leading to heavy traffic jams, especially in parts of south and west Delhi.
(Posted on 02-12-2013)