Delhi Election 2020: Has Congress given up a week before polls? Top leaders missing in action as BJP, AAP shift gears

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Updated: Jan 30, 2020 5:05 PM

Congress campaign in Delhi: Most senior Delhi Congress leaders are either contesting the polls or have their kin in the fray. Delhi Congress chief Subhash Chopra has fielded his daughter Shivani from Kalkaji, while Kirti Azad's wife is contesting from Sangam Vihar.

Delhi Assembly Election 2020, Rahul Gandhi, Congress campaign in DelhiTop Congress leaders are staying from campaigning in Delhi where polling will take place on February 8.

The Delhi Assembly elections are just a week away and the ruling AAP and the opposition BJP have deployed a battery of top leaders to woo voters ahead of polling. However, the Congress party which ruled the national capital for 15 years between 1998 and 2013, is yet to field its bigwigs hit the campaign trail. Top names including Congress president Sonia Gandhi, ex-president Rahul Gandhi and his sister Priyanka Gandhi Vadra are nowhere to be seen in the Delhi election campaign.

The past week has seen Rahul Gandhi holding rallies in Rajasthan and Kerala against the Citizenship Act and targeting the Modi government over the law, jobs and economy Party’s general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra has been attacking the Yogi Adityanath government in Uttar Pradesh. However, none of them have found it important enough to address a single public meeting or rally in poll-bound Delhi.

In sharp contrast to Congress’ lackluster approach to the elections, the BJP and the AAP are going full steam as polling nears. Top leaders from both parties have been deployed into the political battlefield. Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal is leading AAP’s campaign from the front, holding road-shows and rallies every day. His deputy Manish Sisodia and other ministers of his government are also addressing gatherings in different parts of Delhi in a bid to retain power. The AAP is also undertaking a massive door-to-door campaign to reach out to voters.

The BJP, which lost Delhi to the Congress in 1998, has fielded Home minister Amit Shah and all its Delhi MPs, besides chief ministers and leaders from other states. While Amit Shah has been addressing three rallies everyday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi is also scheduled to hit the campaign trail in the last week ahead of polling and address two rallies.

The situation stands out in stark difference as far as Congress is concerned. The grand old party which ruled the Union Territory for 15 years under the leadership of Sheila Dikshit, lacks a powerful leader in the national capital. The big leaders have not started campaigning for party candidates yet, leaving the ground workers confused. There seems a void in Congress’ campaign management in Delhi which will go to polls on February 8.

Kirti Azad, whose name was earlier doing the rounds for the post of DPCC chief, was appointed as chairman of the campaign committee of Delhi Congress in Octobther 2019. But he too has failed in drawing a strategy to engage the leadership in Delhi.

Notably, most senior Delhi Congress leaders are either contesting the polls or have their kin in the fray. Delhi Congress chief Subhash Chopra has fielded his daughter Shivani from Kalkaji, while Kirti Azad’s wife is contesting from Sangam Vihar.

The Congress is contesting elections in an alliance with the RJD. The party has given four seats to the RJD.

The Congress lost Delhi to AAP in 2013 and faced a massive drubbing in the 2014 Lok Sabha polls. When the Assembly polls were held in February 2015, the Congress drew a blank. In the 2019 general elections as well, the grand old party under the leadership of Rahul Gandhi again failed to win even one of the seven parliamentary seats in Delhi.

Meanwhile, multiple reports suggest that Rahul Gandhi will start campaigning in Delhi from February 2. Campaigning will end 48 before the polling date. This means Rahul will have four days to cover the 70 Assembly seats in Delhi. The results will be declared on February 11.

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