Lok Sabha polls: Campaigning ends as Delhi braces for three-way fight

Written by PTI | New Delhi | Updated: Apr 9 2014, 02:25am hrs
The high-voltage campaign for the seven Lok Sabha seats in the country's capital ended today with main contenders BJP, Congress and fledgling AAP engaged in a fierce race to woo the 1.27 crore voters for the April 10 polls.

On the last day of campaign, all major parties held scores of roadshows, rallies and public meetings, making a last ditch effort to garner support for their candidates. A total of 150 candidates are in the fray.

The Lok Sabha election, set to witness a three-way contest with Aam Aadmi Party's foray into parliamentary polls, is seen as a precursor to assembly polls likely to be held in the next few months.

BJP had fielded a battery of top leaders including Narendra Modi, L K Advani, Sushma Swaraj, Arun Jaitley and Rajnath Singh to campaign for the party which drew a blank in the 2009 Lok Sabha polls.

After its severe drubbing in the assembly polls in December last year, Congress through its campaign tried hard to win back support of the people through rallies and house-to-house contact programme.

The party was routed in the assembly polls as it could win only eight seats in the 70-member assembly while AAP had made a spectacular debut by winning 28 seats while BJP had won 31 seats. Congress president Sonia Gandhi and Vice President Rahul Gandhi had addressed separate rallies seeking people's support for the party which has won all the seven seats in 2009 polls.

Delhi BJP president Harsh Vardhan, who is contesting the polls from Chandni Chowk constituency, exhuded 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 AAP, 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.

The election result is likely to be seen an indicator of people's views on AAP quitting the government after remaining in power for 49 days.

In the prestigious Chandni Chowk constituency, Union Minister Kapil Sibal was facing a tough fight from BJP's Vardhan and AAP's journalist-turn-politician Ashutosh to retain the seat for the third time.