Campaigning for the Delhi Assembly election ended on Thursday, with the two major parties – AAP and BJP – focusing on contrasting issues to sway the minds of the voters in the national capital.

The campaign ended at 6 pm on Thursday. 

In the last day of the election campaign, Union Home Minister Amit Shah held three roadshows in Seemapuri constituency, Hari Nagar and Madipur assembly constituencies. 

Meanwhile, Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia took out a ‘padayatra’ in his Patparganj constituency in east Delhi.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Amit Shah, JP Nadda, and chief ministers of BJP-ruled states – Yogi Adityanath, Vijay Rupani, ML Khattar, were among the 40-star campaigners of the saffron party for the elections. Modi addressed two rallies, while Home Minister Amit Shah addressed many more.

The BJP campaigners mainly focused on the anti-CAA protests south east Delhi’s Shaheen Bagh area. The aggressive campaign against the protestors at the site took an ugly turn after the Union Minister Anurag Thakur linked opposition parties with anti-CAA protests in Shaheen Bagh and then asked the crowd to raise a controversial slogan.

As the minister shouted “desh ke gaddaron ko”, the crowd responded with chants of “goli maro sa*** ko.”

Another BJP MP Parvesh Verma said that the protestors at Shaheen Bagh “will enter your houses, rape your sisters and daughters.”

The EC subsequently banned Thakur and Verma for 72 hours and 96 hours, respectively.

On the other hand, the AAP’s campaign strategy was poles apart from the BJP’s, focusing on issues of development like water, electricity, health etc. The party steered clear from the anti-CAA narrative pushed by the saffron party.

For AAP, the prominent names that featured in the list of star campaigners were Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia, Punjab state head Bhagwant Mann, Delhi state convenor Gopal Rai, Rajya Sabha members Sanjay Singh, Sushil Gupta and ND Gupta.

The campaigners of AAP focused mainly on roadshows and public meetings rather than rallies. It also launched a door-to-door initiative in the final days of the campaign, it touting Kejriwal as “a son of Delhi” and vote for the BJP if they feel he is a “terrorist”.

However, Congress’s campaign paled in comparison to AAP’s and BJPs’s with the party stepping up its game on the eve of the campaigning trail. Former prime minister Manmohan Singh addressed a rally in Rajouri Garden on Tuesday while Rahul Gandhi and his sister Priyanka Gandhi Vadra addressed public meetings on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Polling will be held at 13,750 polling stations on Saturday. According to the Delhi poll body chief, total electors in the final electoral roll of the NCT of Delhi as on January 6, 2020, are 1,46,92,136.

“Election Commission of India, in exercise of the powers under sub-section(1)of Section 126A of the Representation of the People Act, 1951 has notified the period between 8.00 A.M. and 6.30 P.M. on 8th February 2020 (Saturday) as the period during which conducting any exit poll and publishing or publicizing the result of exit poll by means of the print or electronic media or in any other manner shall be prohibited in the ongoing General Election to the Legislative Assembly of NCT of Delhi, 2020,” a press release by the Election commission stated.

In terms of security during the time of polling, drones mounted with cameras will keep a watch on poll proceedings. Delhi Police will also install high-end Facial Recognition System in and around the ‘vulnerable’ polling booths.

60,000 security personnel including 38,400 police personnel, 19,000 home guards and the Central Armed Police Forces will stand guard at the poll booths, media reports said. 

In the Delhi Assembly Elections 2020, AAP is contesting from all 70 seats for the assembly polls while BJP is contesting on 67 seats, with its ally Janata Dal-United (JD-U) and Lok Janashakti Party (LJP) contesting on the remaining three seats.

On the other hand, Congress is fighting on 66 seats and its ally Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) contesting on the remaining 4 seats.

The polls for all the seats will be held on February 8, 2020, and the results will be declared on February 11.

It is to be noted that in 2015, the Arvind Kejriwal-led AAP had a landmark victory after it secured 67 of the total 70 seats in the state legislature. The party is now eyeing a second consecutive term, banking on freebies that it provided to Delhiites including free water, free electricity up to 200 units, free ride for women in DTC and cluster buses, among other measures.

(With PTI inputs)

Courtesy : DNA

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