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Campaign for April 10 polls ends in Delhi

PTI | Last Updated: Tuesday, April 8, 2014 - 20:02

New Delhi: The high-voltage campaigning for the seven Lok Sabha seats in the national capital that saw newbie Aam Aadmi Party foraying into parliamentary contest to be held on April 10 came to an end on Tuesday.

On the last day of campaign, all the top players -- BJP, Congress and AAP held scores of roadshows, rallies and public meetings to woo 1.27 crore voters which include over 3.37 lakh first time voters. A total of 150 candidates are in the fray.

The BJP had fielded a battery of top leaders including Narendra Modi, LK Advani, Sushma Swaraj, Arun Jaitley and Rajnath Singh to campaign for the party which drew a blank in the 2009 Lok Sabha polls.
Delhi BJP president Harsh Vardhan, who is contesting the polls from Chandni Chowk constituency, exuded confidence of winning all the seats, saying "the Modi wave" will significantly help the party.

The party campaign was mainly focused on offering good governance, making Modi the Prime Minister and to "rid the country of corrupt" UPA government.

The Congress, which had won all the seven seats in 2009 polls, has made desperate attempt to regain its lost ground following its severe drubbing in the assembly polls. Congress president Sonia Gandhi and vice president Rahul Gandhi had addressed separate rallies seeking people`s support for the party.

The AAP, foraying for the first time into Parliamentary polls, carried out an aggressive campaign with its candidates visiting door-to-door to woo the voters to bring "changes" into the political system.

AAP chief Arvind Kejriwal held roadshows across the city in support of party candidates.

All prominent parties including BSP and Trinamool Congress have fielded candidates.

Prominent Congress candidates in fray include Union Minister Kapil Sibal, Congress general secretary Ajay Maken, former DPCC chief JP Agarwal and Sandeep Dikshit, son of former Delhi chief minister Sheila Dikshit. Both Sibal and Maken were eyeing to retain their Chandni Chowk and New Delhi constituencies respectively for the third consecutive term. The Congress has fielded all sitting MPs.
Prominent BJP candidates include Meenakshi Lekhi from New Delhi seat, Vardhan from Chandni Chowk and Bhojpuri singer Manoj Tiwari from North East constituency.

A total of 63 Independents are in the fray while the number of women candidate is 16. There are 29 contenders from New Delhi constituency, the highest for any seat, while the lowest of 14 in North West seat.

Nearly 50,000 security personnel, apart from 161 flying squads of police and video surveillance teams will be deployed as part of elaborate preparations to ensure fair and peaceful polls in Delhi.

The Election Commission said has it has done away with provision of voter cards and voter slips being mandatory to cast vote.

Polling will be held in 11,763 polling stations out of which 327 have been declared critical and 90 hyper critical.

For the first time, Delhi residents will be able to exercise their franchise even if they do not have Electors Photo identity Card (voter card), but have their names registered in the electoral roll.

Encouraged by "historic" voter turnout in the recently held Delhi Assembly Elections, Delhi`s Chief Electoral Officer Vijay Dev appealed to Delhi residents to come out and vote and said he was hopeful of even better polling percentage in this election.

In 2009 Lok Sabha polls, the overall voting percentage stood at 52.3 percent, which increased to 66 percent in the 2013 Delhi Assembly Election.

First Published: Tuesday, April 8, 2014 - 20:02
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