Delhi 2020

Hard-fought campaign for Delhi Assembly ends

BJP MP and Bollywood actor Sunny Deol during an election campaign roadshow in support of party candidate Krishan Gahlot ahead of the Assembly election, at Uttam Nagar constituency in New Delhi on February 6, 2020.   | Photo Credit: PTI

A hard-fought election campaign that kicked off with Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal asking voters for a second term based on his government’s performance ended on Thursday with Mr. Kejriwal calling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders “fake Hindus” for running an “abusive” campaign.

The pitch and tenor of the campaign changed drastically in the last two weeks with political parties warring over who can be called a true patriot. The BJP deployed U.P. Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, Union Minister Anurag Thakur and West Delhi MP Parvesh Sahib Singh among others to assist Home Minister Amit Shah, who was spearheading the BJP’s campaign in the absence of a chief ministerial face.

Banned for vitriol

Mr. Thakur and Mr. Sahib Singh were both banned by the Election Commission for 72 hours and 96 hours respectively for their controversial statements, leading the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) to say that the BJP had no development to show nor any vision for the capital, and was resorting to spreading “hate” and running a “divisive” campaign. Mr. Sahib Singh was served with a second ban on Wednesday for making “vitriolic statements” against the Chief Minister.

Mr. Kejriwal, on the other hand, said he was seeking votes for delivering on his free water and electricity promise, and the work done in the field of education, health and measures to ensure safety of women.

Protests against the Citizenship (Ammendment) Act (CAA), which found a focal point at Shaheen Bagh, turned into a major election issue with Prime Minister Narendra Modi asking voters to vote for the BJP in order to prevent similar protests and the blockade of main roads during an election rally. Mr. Kejriwal, however, maintained that the BJP was using Shaheen Bagh as an election issue and that the road would be cleared by the Central government immediately after the election.

Congress evokes Sheila

The Congress, enthused by its performance in 2019 Lok Sabha election, in which it was placed second after the BJP in five of the seven Lok Sabha seats, ran a campaign reminding voters of the development that took place in Delhi during the 15-year Sheila Dikshit government and promised to continue all-round redevelopment with a focus on job creation for the youth.

Rahul Gandhi, in his four election rallies, spoke of developing Delhi into a manufacturing hub so that jobs are created. He blamed the BJP and the AAP for practising politics of hate, which was turning away investors. In its manifesto, the Congress promised to pass a resolution in the Delhi Assembly, if voted to power, demanding the Centre drop the CAA as it was against the basic spirit of the Constitution.

70-member Assembly

A total of 672 candidates are in the fray for the February 8 election for the 70-member Delhi Assembly.

A total of 1,47,86,382 persons are registered to vote at 13,750 polling stations and results will be announced on February 11.

In the 2015 Delhi Assembly election, the AAP won a massive majority with 67 seats, with rivals BJP being reduced three seats and the Congress failing to open its account.

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Printable version | Jun 21, 2021 7:47:55 PM |

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