All India Congress Committee (AICC) chief Sonia Gandhi campaigns for the Delhi polls Sunday, starting the round of high-power battles this election season.
Gandhi’s public meeting in Mangolpuri will be followed by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s rally in Dakshipuri on November 27.
Incidentally, both the rallies are being held in assembly seats reserved for Scheduled Caste candidates.
Asked about the choice of seats for holding these rallies, DPCC chairman Jai Prakash Aggarwal said: “Soniaji and the Prime Minister are strengthening factor no matter where they go. Their presence energises local workers.”
The move can be seen in the light of the threat being posed by the Bahujan Samaj Party. The 12 reserved seats in Delhi account for over 14 lakh votes – a substantial number that can swing the polls and the fate of the parties contesting the election.
“The AICC has constituted a special committee under the leadership of Rajya Sabha MP from Karnataka Jesudasu Seelam, to co-ordinate the special campaign in these seats. AICC general secretary Oscar Fernandes has deputed Youth Congress activists in each of these seats,” an AICC source told HT.
Delhi Congress insiders, however, point out heavyweight campaigners like Gandhi and Singh actually indicate the political fate of local leaders. For instance, Delhi urban development minister Raj Kumar Chauhan is the Congress candidate from Mangolpuri and considered a close aide to chief minister Sheila Dikshit. He was also said to be Dikshit’s choice for the Lok Sabha election from the Northwest Delhi parliamentary constituency, which is a reserved seat.
“Dakshinpuri is a part of the Deoli assembly seat where former Bihar governor Buta Singh’s son Ravinder Singh Lovely is contesting. Both these leaders are seen as hopefuls for a chance at the Lok Sabha elections,” said a party source.
The 12 reserved seats in Delhi are Bawana, Sultanpur Majra, Mangolpuri, Karol Bagh, Patel Nagar, Madipur, Deoli, Ambedkar Nagar, Trilokpuri, Kondli, Seemapuri and Gokulpur.