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Parties scramble to bring Delhites to vote

Every vote counts and the parties know it. The city has 1.19 crore voters, and many of them will be voting for the first time.

india Updated: Dec 07, 2013 13:36 IST
HT Correspondents
HT Correspondents
Hindustan Times
Delhi Assembly elections,Congress,BJP

With assembly polls entering the final lap and opinion polls predicting a hung House for the Capital, political parties are putting every effort to make last-minute gains.

While campaigning came to a close at 5pm on Monday, the Congress, BJP and Aam Aadmi Party have now shifted focus on booth-management —ensuring that their supporters turn up in large numbers to vote on December 4.

Every vote counts in this prestigious battle for Delhi and the parties know it. The city has 1.19 crore voters, and many of them will be voting for the first time.

The BJP is hoping that the anti-incumbency factor — the Congress has been in power for three terms running – will swung the outcome in its favour when votes for the 70-member assembly are counted on December 8.

It is aggressively working to get people to the polling stations. The party has assigned 15 houses to each of its 3.5 lakh workers, asking them to personally hand out voter slips bearing the party symbol. The idea is to stay alive in voters’ memory, especially those undecided.

Each workers has drawn up a list which categorises voters under three heads –- BJP supporters, fence-sitters, or those still undecided, and opposition backer. “The plan is to ensure there is 100% turnout of BJP supporters and those who are yet to make up their mind be persuaded to vote for the party,” said Vijay Sharma, the saffron party’s Delhi unit general secretary who has been supervising booth-level work.

The workers have instructions to virtually catch the voters wherever they can -- homes, markets even parks.

The Congress, say senior leaders, is relying on the old and tested system. “Every single responsibility is assigned and every small detail worked out,” said a party worker tasked with booth management.

The ruling party has already deputed polling agents and their relievers for each of the 11,992 polling stations. Prominent faces, such as resident welfare association chiefs and traders who interact regularly with voters, have been picked in each constituency to spread the party word.

Pitted against the biggies, the rookie Aam Aadmi Party is going the extra mile to ensure ‘last-minute’ connectivity with voters. “Now that the outdoor campaign is over, we plan to go indoors,” AAP leader said on condition of anonymity.

Country’s newest political party has held rigorous training sessions for volunteers. Five volunteers have been assigned for each booth. Many others have been tasked with reaching out to the voters.

First Published: Dec 03, 2013 00:33 IST