The high voltage electioneering came to an end on Tuesday evening, with various political parties holding road shows and padyatras in the city.
The fate of former railway minister and Congress candidate Pawan Bansal, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) candidate Kirron Kher and the new entrant into the Lok Sabha poll battle — Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) with its candidate Gul Panag among 17 other candidates will be sealed on Thursday.
The election is not only being seen as referendum on work of Bansal, four-time Lok Sabha member also facing ‘taint’ in the Railgate scam, but also a battle of survival for the party with Bansal being a lone face from the city on national arena.
The BJP too is in a similar situation as it has lost three consecutive Lok Sabha elections and has brought in Kirron to prevent infighting among its top leaders — city chief Sanjay Tandon and former MPs Satya Pal Jain and Harmohan Dhawan.
For the AAP, the city with a huge base of middle class is equally important and it has tried to replicate all ideas of wooing voters it implemented in Delhi to wrest the power.
Party leadership gave ticket to 65-year-old Pawan Bansal despite opposition from certain quarters within the Congress. Bansal is riding high on developmental work he has carried out in the city. The election will not only decide his political future, but also the future of the party in the absence of strong second rung leadership.
The party decided to rope in Bollywood actor Kirron Kher despite opposition from the city unit. Local leaders were of the view that dropping in an “outsider” could mar its electoral prospects, but the party’s “wisdom” of not giving ticket to local leaders to avoid infighting prevailed. A good fortune would rejuvenate the party workers, who have seen three consecutive defeats in the past Lok Sabha elections.
The party has plunged into electoral battle in the city barely three months back. With virtually no organisational strength, if it is able to make a mark in city, where mostly mainstream parties have won elections, it will boost the morale of party workers.