The decision of the Janata Dal (United) to contest two seats in Delhi may hurt its former partner, the Bharatiya Janata Party. The JD(U) foray is likely to split the vote share as the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) is also contesting all seven seats in Delhi.
The JD(U) has decided to stick to the areas where majority of voters are either Muslims or Purvanchalis. In the Chandni Chowk parliamentary constituency, the party will field five-time MLA Shoaib Iqbal, who recently won the assembly election on the party’s ticket.
Another seat the JD(U) is looking at is Northeast Delhi, where Muslim and Purvanchali voters form 30% of the total electorate. The JD (U) had contested 27 seats in the assembly election but failed to create any impact barring Matia Mahal, from where Iqbal is MLA.
“We had a meeting with senior leaders and I will contest from Chandni Chowk. The JD (U) will field a candidate from Northeast constituency too,” said Iqbal. “In comparison to what happened to other parties in the assembly election, we still have reason to believe we performed better than them,” a senior JD (U) leader said.
With the JD(U) in fray, the Lok Sabha election this time will offer more alternatives to the voters as far political parties are concerned. But the move of small parties such as JD(U) to contest the elections in Delhi may lead to vote division; affecting the performance of not only the main opposition party BJP but the ruling Congress too.
Sources said that the National Democratic Alliance (NDA)-JD(U) split led to the latter deciding to contest two Lok Sabha seats in Delhi.
The party is especially counting on the 40 lakh-odd Purvanchali voters spread across the city who can help them make an impact.
“There is a need to tap the single largest community in Delhi. People expect political parties to field candidates of these regions but they have only been disappointed. People from eastern UP, Bihar are a big vote-bank,” said the JD (U) leader.