New Delhi: Security of women and rising prices of essential commodities topped the agenda of women voters who exercised their franchise in the Delhi assembly polls Saturday.
"My vote is for the party that can protect the city`s women and stop the nuisance of harassment and even molestation in public places," 26-year-old Pria Bajaj, a resident of Mukherjee Nagar in north Delhi, said.
Bajaj said she wished for a leader who can instil fear in the minds of those who dare to misbehave with girls and women and forces the city`s police personnel to pull up their socks.
Lalita Mehra, a 54-year-old homemaker from Mayur Vihar Phase II in east Delhi, told IANS: "I voted for the party which I believe can curb inflation and bring down the prices of commodities, especially vegetables. Its high time parties start thinking about the city`s middle class population."
A total of 63 women candidates are in fray in these polls.
Despite being more than vocal about women related issues, the three major parties - the BJP, AAP and Congress - have fielded only eight, six and five candidates respectively.
For Santosh Malik, 83, of B.K. Dutt Colony in New Delhi assembly constituency, it was important that the voice of the women is heard by the government.
"I want a government which hears the voice of everybody, specially women, as they are the most suppressed," Malik said.
Inflation was the biggest issue for 35-year old Lata Devi of Ballimaran in central Delhi.
"No party considers inflation and just makes fake assurances. I have voted for the party who I think will bring it down and I am confident that it will come to power," Lata Devi said.
She said the prices of most food items have been going up relentlessly.
Shweta Arora, a marketing executive, added that while staples like wheat flour and rice have become marginally costlier, prices of pulses like masoor and arhar have soared by up to 30 percent.
"Barring a few exceptions, prices of vegetables and fruits have shot up by 20 to 50 percent, and for popular winter fare like peas and leafy vegetables, by nearly 100 percent," Arora said.
College student Ankita Sharma of Gole Market, a first time voter, said she wanted a strong government that will take youth along in the development process and provide security to women.
"I have voted for the party which is actually talking about the issues of youth," Sharma, who said she voted for the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), said.
Anasuya Gupta, a businesswoman in South Delhi, said she voted with the expectation of having "a stable, responsible and viable government" that would "provide safety, security and sanity in Delhi" and make it easy to carry out business in the capital.
Kiran Saxena, 63, a retired government official, said: "The issues on my mind are cleaniness, security and women`s safety and price rise, of course. Prices of fruits and vegetables have only risen".
Saxena, however, added that the elections this time could have been avoided. "We could have saved this exercise and a lot of money is wasted organizing this whole exercise."
Delhi has 13.3 million voters, of whom 5.9 million are women. The counting process will be on Feb 10.