Congress, BJP predict close finish in Delhi polls

December 6th, 2008 - 1:46 pm ICT by IANS  

Bharatiya Janata PartyNew Delhi, Dec 6 (IANS) Fingers are crossed as the ruling Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) spend anxious moments predicting a close finish in the Delhi assembly elections, the votes for which will be counted Monday.The elections took place Nov 29 under the shadow of the Mumbai terror attack.

The capital saw a record voting of 58 percent as six million people cast their vote for to elect 69 members of the 70-member Delhi assembly. Balloting for the Rajinder Nagar assembly seat was deferred following the death of BJP candidate Puran Chand Yogi.

According to political analysts, the gory Mumbai incident that shook the whole country may have been on the voters mind while polling and it might change the political equations in Delhi.

“The Mumbai operation was still on when polling started in the capital. The people must have come out to vote with the terror drama fresh on their mind. I think the Congress is likely to suffer as they have governments in the centre (Delhi) and the state (Maharashtra),” said G.V.L. Narasimha Rao.

The Congress, which banked on the development work carried out in the city during the last 10 years under the leadership of Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit, argues that the Mumbai attack will not affect regional politics.

Though Delhi Congress chief J.P. Aggarwal claims his party will return to power with a thumping majority, party sources say they sense a very close victory margin.

“The Mumbai incidents left everyone shocked and it may have some implications but not to the extent that it will completely undo the development work carried out by the Delhi government during the last ten years,” Aggarwal told IANS.

The BJP on the other hand has been claiming it will get two-thirds majority ever since the campaign started. The party is contesting elections under its veteran leader, V.K. Malhotra.

Party strategists say the attack on the country’s financial hub could work in their favour.

“I think the people are fed up of the terror attacks in the country. They are scared about their safety and security and that only a change of regime in the states and at the Centre can provide some relief to them,” Delhi BJP spokesperson Mewaram Arya told IANS.

The fight in Delhi has traditionally been between the Congress and the BJP, but the inroads made by Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati’s Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) in the city politics has made the battle curiouser.

The BSP, which has fielded candidates for all seats, is likely to eat into a major share of the Congress voters. After tasting success in the 2007 municipal corporation elections where it won 17 out of the total 272 seats, the BSP expects to win at least five seats in the Delhi assembly.

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