Delhiites to set agenda for 2020 polls on Sunday

Seven seats in the national capital will face election on Sunday. The results will have a huge impact on the three parties as the Assembly elections in Delhi are less than 10 months away. PTI file photo

Seven seats in the national capital will face election on Sunday. The results will have a huge impact on the three parties as the Assembly elections in Delhi are less than 10 months away.

 

For AAP, which rules the national capital, a better performance in the Lok Sabha polls would mean better prospects in the 2020 polls while for Congress, it is a do-or-die battle to remain relevant in Delhi's political landscape.

After its spectacular win in 2015 Assembly polls, soon after striking blank in 2014 Lok Sabha elections in Delhi, the AAP lost bypolls badly—it lost deposit in one of the sitting seats, and could not do well in municipal polls too. A setback this time would mean Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal lost his grip.

The Congress hopes to win a couple of seats, or emerge second in all seven seats to relegate AAP to third position. Congress leaders believe such a scenario would help them in the Assembly elections.

The Congress party now holds the AAP responsible for the break down in negotiations. However, Delhi Congress chief Sheila Dikshit, who led the anti-AAP alliance group while the central leadership was in favour of a coalition, will be responsible for the party's performance.

Muslims and Scheduled Caste voters will be crucial this time, as they had deserted the Congress party in the previous elections in favour of the AAP. It's a challenge to win them back, and the Congress party is confident about it.

The BJP is confident of its campaign based on Prime Minister Narendra Modi paying off. However, a section of voters who had voted for the saffron party in 2014, say they would choose the Congress party this time but vote for the AAP in the Assembly elections.

Delhi witnessed celebrity quotient not just in candidates — Congress' boxer Vijender Singh (South) and BJP's singer Hansraj Hans (North West) and Gambhir (East) — the campaign saw the presence of Hema Malini and Sunny Deol for BJP, Raj Babbar and Nagma for Congress and Prakash Raj, Swara Bhaskar and Gul Panag for AAP. The battle however is fought on predictable lines, with BJP banking on Modi, while AAP is highlighting Kejriwal's achievements, and the Congress is relying on Sheila Dikshit.

Will BJP's nationalism pitch would work or not or whether the Opposition will have the last laugh, one could know only on May 23 when the votes are counted.

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