Go for it, Delhi
How much of the national mood is reflected in the national capital? If today’s polling, phase-III of the nine-phased general elections, in Delhi is anything to go by, a mini reflection of the bigger picture might just be in the offing. With over 12.7 million eligible voters, and seven parliamentary seats, the national capital does have a small but decisive share in the pie that is the national political theatre and its electoral math. Amid heavy security and policing – over 50,000 personnel and 161 flying squads and video surveillance teams – as well as with polling supposed to be held at 11,763 booths, with some deemed critical among them, it is absolutely a massive exercise of universal franchise, one of the basic constitutionally-guaranteed right that is available to every citizen in order to have their say in the democratic politics of this republic. 150 candidates are vying for people’s mandate, especially from over 3.37 lakh first-time voters, and within the heavily-populated swath that is Delhi, the fault lines that will emerge could act as a template for the rest of the nation.
Numerical share notwithstanding, a heavy turnout in Delhi could easily galvanise the rest of the country to go out and cast their votes. Novelties such as ‘none of the above’ option, permission to use verification documents other than the electors photo identity card, CCTV cameras and use of electronic voting machines that leave a paper trail will certainly go to a great extent to drive people to make their ballot utilized. In addition, the election commission has been strict on enforcing model code of conduct, even though, this polling session promises to be one of the most bitterly contested general elections that even the Capital has ever witnessed. Evidently, new players will make big holes in old bastions, if not completely throw old guards out of power. Delhi must decide and leave a fingerprint, literally.