Less than a week before Delhi casts its votes for three separate civic bodies, the two major political parties — Congress and the BJP — have started making last ditch efforts to convince people to vote for them.
While they have been campaigning extensively in areas where they enjoy a strong position, senior leaders of both parties said they are putting in extra efforts in wards where they did not perform well in the last elections.
In 2007 municipal polls, BJP had won 172 seats of the 272-member house. Its candidates stood second at 67 seats. The Congress had won 74 and its candidates were runners-up at 159 seats.
There were several seats where either independent candidates or those from regional parties won or were close a second. While the BSP had won 17 seats, smaller parties such as the Lok Janshakti Party, National Communist Party and independent candidates won 10.
“We have identified wards where our candidates fared poorly. Special teams comprising representatives, leaders of the community that forms a major chunk of the voters of those areas, women and youth have been formed. These teams have been campaigning vigorously and holding close meetings with the electorate,” said a senior Congress leader.
In Jahangirpuri, for example, the Congress candidate could only muster 0.8 per cent of the total votes polled in the area. In Sarita Vihar, a BJP-supported candidate, contesting on a JD(U) ticket, managed to secure only 48 votes."We have been campaigning door-to-door in areas where we could not perform well in 2007. We are trying to get as many people on our side as possible," said a senior BJP leader.