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Lok Sabha elections 2019: As elections come to a close, parties strike a winning pose

Gandhi, on the other hand, said this election has seen a “good fight” between the two rival parties (BJP and Congress).

india Updated: May 13, 2019 06:18 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
elections,AAP,capital
In the high-stakes battle, the BJP was hoping for a high turnout in this election. But senior BJP leaders said the slight dip in voting percentage wouldn’t spoil its chances of repeating 2014’s electoral success.(HT Photo)

Political leaders set the pitch for polling in the national Capital early Sunday morning with Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal appealing to people to vote for those who have done work instead of those spreading “hatred”. Congress president Rahul Gandhi too echoed similar sentiments and said his party “used love” instead.

Hoping that most of the 1.43 crore voters in Delhi would come out to vote, Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) chief Kejriwal wished people a good morning and said, “Please vote. Vote for those who have done your work. Don’t vote for those who are spreading hatred and venom and also stopping Delhi’s works. Your vote can change the country.”

Gandhi, on the other hand, said this election has seen a “good fight” between the two rival parties (BJP and Congress). “Prime Minister Narendra Modi used hatred, we used love. And, I think love is going to win,” Gandhi told reporters, after exercising his franchise along with Congress’ New Delhi constituency candidate Ajay Maken.

Until 6pm, Delhi saw a turnout of 60.17%. Out of the seven parliamentary seats in the city, the highest turnout was in North East Delhi (63.45%) which has three-time CM Sheila Dikshit from the Congress, sitting MP and Delhi BJP chief Manoj Tiwari from BJP and AAP’s senior leader Dilip Pandey in the fray.

The lowest turnout was in the New Delhi (56.47%) segment where Maken, BJP’s sitting MP Meenakshi Lekhi and AAP’s Brijesh Goyal are contesting.

In the high-stakes battle, the BJP was hoping for a high turnout in this election. But senior BJP leaders said the slight dip in voting percentage wouldn’t spoil its chances of repeating 2014’s electoral success.

Delhi BJP in-charge Shyam Jaju said, “A high voter turnout is usually favourable. But given the undercurrent for the BJP, we will sweep all seven seats. The two parties (AAP and the Congress) are competing for the second spot. When there is no direct competition for us, we have nothing to worry.”

But he admitted that this time the victory margins might not be as high as 2014 Lok Sabha elections. “In 2014, almost all our candidates had won by one lakh to 1.5 lakh votes. Due to low voter turnout, this time the margins might not be very high,” he said.

In the 2014 Lok Sabha election, Delhi’s voter turnout was 65.07% æ the highest ever in the national Capital. In that election, the BJP got 46.6% votes, AAP got 33% and the Congress 15% votes in Delhi.

Reacting to the turnout figures, Dikshit, the Congress’s Delhi unit chief, said she was confident that the grand old party would win all seven seats. “I hope the love that Delhiites have given to the Congress will translate into votes. Today (Sunday) the weather conditions were tough, but still a lot of people came out to vote and I am overwhelmed by it,” she said.

Senior AAP leader and Rajya Sabha MP Sanjay Singh said Delhi’s voters have lauded the party’s work in the fields of electricity, water, healthcare and education.

“I am certain people have voted against sealing, GST and demonetisation and that AAP will win on all seven seats,” he said.

First Published: May 13, 2019 06:18 IST