Polls and wedding bells take toll of Delhi traffic (Political Prattle)

November 24th, 2008 - 6:18 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Nov 24 (IANS) Elections, political rallies, and weddings. The capital’s cup of traffic woes is brimming over as the countdown to the Nov 29 assembly elections begins just as the wedding season peaks. And election day Saturday could see the mother of all jams with over 20,000 weddings slated for the day in the city.

Already, chaos rules on city roads with political parties pitting their crowd-pullers to woo voters last minute. The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), which is trying to dethrone the Congress after 10 years, has planned several rallies of star campaigners like prime ministerial hopeful L.K. Advani, Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi, TV actor Smriti Irani, cricketer Navjot Singh Sidhu and Bollywood star Shatrughan Sinha.

Not to be left behind, the Congress has lined up Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Congress president Sonia Gandhi and the party’s star campaigner Rahul Gandhi.

Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati too will be on the roads to garner votes for her Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP).

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Pampering journalists, the Congress way

The Delhi unit of the Congress is sparing no effort to pamper journalists covering the party’s rallies - they are picked up and dropped, and given food and a drink too.

The Delhi Pradesh Congress Committee (DPCC) has arranged a bus for journalists from its office to the election rally venue and back. Snacks and soft drinks are provided on the bus to ensure that the scribes are kept happy.

This was a real boon, for instance, for those covering Congress president Sonia Gandhi’s visit in northwest Mongolpuri Sunday.

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Maken stays away from Dikshit’s constituency

The strain in the relations between Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit and Minister of State for Urban Development Ajay Maken is there for everyone to see.

In the run-up to the elections Saturday, Maken has been campaigning for candidates all over the city but has scrupulously avoided the New Delhi assembly seat from where Dikshit is contesting.

When asked why at a conference on the controversial BRT (bus rapid transit) corridor, he simply replied: “I have not been invited.”

When the reporter persisted, he said: “I won’t be able to say anything else.”

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