Elections 2019: Why Delhi is a battle of prestige

For BJP, retaining the capital is a matter of honour, while Congress wants to wrest its old bastion back, and AAP hopes to enter Lok Sabha with a win. Mint finds out what voters have to say before Delhi votes on 12 May

Elections 2019: It’s state vs nation in contest for the capital

With a couple of days to go before Delhi votes on 12 May, 32-year old Shikha Sahu, a beautician from Sarita Vihar in the South Delhi constituency, is confused. It’s a three-way battle in each of the seven seats in the National Capital Region this time, as it was in 2014, though then the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) was the surprise challenger.

This time, it’s less certain whether AAP will play as large a role as spoiler for the Congress as it did five years ago. For the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), it will be a battle to retain all the seven seats that it won in 2014 with a vote share of 46.6%.(Read more..)

Elections 2019: Congress returns to veterans to regain ground

It was sometime in 2011 that S.A. Mirza began to wonder if there was an option other than the Congress, a party that has long enjoyed the support of minorities here. Mirza, a 51-year-old painter from Seelampur, says he was disenchanted with the Congress, which never went beyond its rhetoric of being “the party that cared" about minorities. “They reeked of arrogance," said Mirza, who will vote in North-East Delhi constituency on 12 May.

The Congress had won the state elections for three consecutive terms and a majority of the Lok Sabha seats in the 2004 and 2009 polls. However, the support base, which was in many ways taken for granted, consolidated behind the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), formed in 2012 after the anti-corruption movement. The Congress lost in the state and general elections that followed.(Read more...)

Elections 2019: In East Delhi, AAP banks on school work

On a Sunday afternoon, the narrow lanes of Nizamuddin Basti were prepping for the arrival of Atishi, Aam Aadmi Party’s (AAP) candidate for the East Delhi Lok Sabha constituency. There’s a buzz of anticipation as she’s a popular figure because of her work as an advisor in the state government.

“Atishi is a good candidate. The Delhi government has done good work on water, electricity, education and health. AAP has made a difference to our lives and deserve a chance. But it will not be easy," said 38-year-old Islamuddin, who runs a grocery store.(Read more...)

Elections 2019: Local issues can wait in BJP forts

Life was good for 45-year-old Manoj Kumar, who made a living striking small real estate deals. He had a steady income as real estate is always in demand in tony South Delhi, and land prices were booming. The run ended when Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced the demonetization of 500 and 1,000 notes in 2016, slowing the sector that works on cash.

“It was not illegal, but most deals happened in cash," Kumar says at a barber shop in one of the by-lanes of Govindpuri near Kalkaji market. From paying his children’s school fees to his life insurance premium, cash was tight. “Now no one wants to invest, everyone is just hoarding their money," he says. But he believes the hardship is temporary pain for the benefits that his children will see.(Read more...)

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