Poll politics to colour Delhi's Diwali

For many aspiring legislators and budding leaders in Delhi, the upcoming festival of Diwali on November 3 could not have been more politically strategic.

Many ticket aspirants in both the ruling Congress and the opposition Bharatiya Janata Party are using the festival of lights as an occasion to connect with potential voters, and in the process lay the foundation for seeking their support ahead of the December 4 Assembly election.

Ticket-seekers are also reaching out to party seniors with sweets and costly gifts, including jewellery for their wives, on the pretext of exchanging Diwali greetings.

The two main political parties have not yet released the name of any candidate for the election. The BJP, however, is planning to come out with its first list ahead of Diwali, tactically giving some of its nominees a leg-up over rivals in the festive season. “It is going to be a hectic Diwali; even more than the last few years,” said a BJP ticket-hopeful from north Delhi.

A ticket-seeker from south Delhi said, “Most of those who will figure in the first list have been unofficially informed in advance, and are ready to woo voters in the festive season.”

From sweets to greetings, decorative lights to silver coins, the list of goodies for voters is endless.

Former Delhi Mayor and BJP leader Arti Mehra, however, tried to play down the political buzz. “Diwali is a festival, and it should not be seen through the prism of politics,” she said.

While the BJP has decided to brighten the festival of lights of a few ticket-seekers by naming them in the first list ahead of Diwali, Congress has opted not to “spoil” anybody’s celebrations.

Delhi Congress president J P Agarwal said the final decision on tickets would be taken by the screening committee, but hinted that no name would be made public till Diwali.

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