Millennium Post

Big guns ‘hold’ fire for now

Big guns ‘hold’ fire for now
Roadshows by AAP Chief Arvind Kejriwal in the prestigious New Delhi constituency and Congress leader Rahul Gandhi in Sultanpur Majra ended the last day of campaign which saw nearly 100 rallies by leaders of various parties including BJP president Amit Shah. The city goes to polls on February 7 to elect representatives to the 70 members assembly.

After the end of the campaign,  party biggies went into a huddle chalking out strategies on how to optimally utilize the last day before polls for door-to-door canvassing. Out of power in the city for the past 16 years, the BJP has gambled this time by making former Team Anna member Kiran Bedi its Chief Ministerial candidate. While it may or may not enthuse the voters but her projection left the local leadership dissatisfied.

On the other hand, the Arvind Kejriwal-led AAP, smarting under a humiliating defeat in the Lok Sabha polls, reached out to voters in a spirited campaign in a bid to stem the Modi juggernaut, which has won every state poll after the party’s victory in the last Lok Sabha polls. The Congress which had ruled Delhi for 15 years till December, 2013, lags behind  AAP and BJP in pre-poll surveys.

Some opinion polls have given AAP a clear majority while a few have predicted a BJP win. However, there have been encouraging signs for the Congress in the last two days if the roadshows of Congress’ Rahul Gandhi are anything to go by. After both internal and media surveys projected a not-so-rosy picture, the BJP deployed all its top guns including Union Ministers Rajnath Singh, Arun Jaitley, Sushma Swaraj, Ravi Shankar Prasad, Uma Bharti and M Venkaiah Naidu in the campaign along with 120 MPs and leaders from states to woo the people from various regions.

The BJP campaign got a boost with the Prime Minister addressing five rallies in which he mainly targeted AAP while appealing to the people to give him an opportunity to help Delhi scale new heights in development.

The AAP strategy revolved around door-to-door campaigns and corner meetings. Towards the end, the party had to confront a dissident campaign when some of its erstwhile members came out with allegations of dubious fundings against it over receipt of four cheques of Rs 50 lakh each in April last year.
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