Ball is in voters' court now

Campaigning for the April 10 Lok Sabha elections ended on Tuesday in Delhi, which is heading for its first three-cornered parliamentary contest, with both the BJP and the new entrant AAP looking to wrest the seven seats occupied by Congress. 

The loudspeakers fell silent at 6 pm and armies of supporters of various parties started returning to the barracks after a hard day, leaving the 1.27 crore electorate over 36 hours to start voting to pick seven MPs out of the 150 candidates.

The last day of the campaign saw high drama at the roadshow of AAP leader Arvind Kejriwal when an autorickshaw driver slapped him in Sultanpuri in North-West Delhi constituency. This was the second such attack on Kejriwal since April 4.

“I don’t want security. As long as god wants me to live, no one can harm me,” said Kejriwal, who was left with a swollen eye.

Apart from the trusted roadshows on a hot and sunny day, some candidates unleashed their most potent campaign toll on the last day.

South Delhi candidate of BJP Ramesh Bidhuri banked upon the popularity of former cricketer Navjot Singh Sidhu to make his roadshow a hit. 

AAP candidate from East Delhi Rajmohan Gandhi circulated flyers in newspapers carrying a seven decade old photograph of him playing in the lap of his grandfather Mahatma Gandhi. 

Quite like BJP prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi’s poster campaign in the Metro, Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi’s banners emerged in trains. 

The party’s New Delhi constituency candidate Ajay Maken also distributed pamphlets in trains.

BJP supporters shouted pro-Modi slogans and wooed voters at the entrance of some Metro stations in Connaught Place, the main commercial hub in the heart of the city.Harsh Vardhan, Delhi BJP president and candidate from Chandni Chowk, said he was confident that Delhiites will bring in the “Narendra Modi era overwhelmingly and comprehensively”.

Delhi Congress chief Arvinder Singh said, “The BJP and the Aam Aadmi Party have been totally rattled. The Congress will emerge victorious on all the seven seats.”

A confident convenor of AAP’s Delhi unit, Dilip Pandey, said, “We will sweep Delhi.” During campaigning, the BJP held rallies of Modi and Advani, among others; the Congress relied on party chief Sonia Gandhi and vice-president Rahul Gandhi to garner votes. Kejriwal shouldered the responsibility for the AAP’s campaign and spent the last 10 days of the campaign on roadshows.

Checking corruption and prise rise remained the BJP’s main poll planks, while development was centric to the Congress’ pitch. The AAP promised to give a clean and efficient administration, like it did during its 49-day rule in Delhi.

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