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With eye on Purvanchali votes, Nitish to visit Delhi

Faizan Haidar, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, October 04, 2013
First Published: 01:15 IST(4/10/2013) | Last Updated: 01:24 IST(4/10/2013)

After BJP’s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi, it is the turn of his bête noire Janata Dal (United) leader and Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar to hit the campaign trail in Delhi.

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The JD(U) will contest all 70 assembly seats in Delhi this time against only 11 seats in the last elections in 2008. Sources said its split from the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance was one of the factors that triggered this decision.

Unlike its former coalition partner, the JD(U) is not organising a big rally. Instead, Kumar will visit at least 10 constituencies where Purvanchalis or people from eastern UP and Bihar have a sizeable presence.

“Nitishji will come to Delhi next week. We have divided 70 constituencies into four categories. There are 10 seats where the population of Purvanchali voters exceeds 40,000. Nitishji will visit these constituencies and address the locals,” said Sabir Ali, Delhi JD(U) president.

The party’s decision to contest all the seats is likely to hurt the BJP’s prospects. The JD(U) is especially counting on the 40-lakh Purvanchalis to help it win a few seats while votes may get divided in other constituencies.

“Though we are focusing on seats where we can win, we also want to increase our vote percentage,” said Ali.

Purvanchalis form more than 30% of the population in areas such as Dwarka, Vikaspuri, Patparganj, Uttam Nagar, RK Puram, Badli, Matiala and Laxmi Nagar. The party has already begun interacting with locals in these areas.

“With Nitishji coming, we are confident of getting the support of people from UP and Bihar,” Ali said.

The JD(U) is analysing the performance of its candidates in last year’s municipal elections. It is yet to finalise the names of its candidates though its leaders did say that tickets would be given to leaders with local connect.

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