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Business News/ Politics / Lok Sabha Elections 2024: All set for pitched capital battle as 7 Delhi seats vote in phase 6 today
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Lok Sabha Elections 2024: All set for pitched capital battle as 7 Delhi seats vote in phase 6 today

Lok Sabha Elections 2024: The contest in Delhi intensified in the last few weeks as AAP-Congress alliance battled it out against the BJP. Arvind Kejriwal's arrest and bail added the drama to the campaign, while PM Modi-led BJP emphasised development and questioned Delhi CM's credentials.

Lok Sabha Elections 2024: Delhi CM and AAP convenor Arvind Kejriwal with party South Delhi Lok Sabha seat candidate Sahiram Pahalwan during campaigning for Phase 6 polling (ANI)Premium
Lok Sabha Elections 2024: Delhi CM and AAP convenor Arvind Kejriwal with party South Delhi Lok Sabha seat candidate Sahiram Pahalwan during campaigning for Phase 6 polling (ANI)

All eyes will be on Delhi, as seven seats in the national capital will go to the polls in the sixth and penultimate phase of Lok Sabha Elections 2024 today, May 25.

The contest in the national capital became interesting as it is a direct fight between the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and INDIA bloc parties – the Congress and the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP). 

Follow Live Updates on Phase 6 Polling Here

The Arvind Kejriwal-led AAP is contesting four seats while the Congress has fielded candidates in three seats as per the seat-sharing agreement. The BJP, which won all 7 seats of Delhi in 2014 and 2019 Lok Sabha elections, has dropped all but one of its Members of Parliament (MP) for the 2024 elections.

Mayawati-led Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) is the only national party other than the BJP that has fielded candidates in all seven seats of Delhi.

All seven seats witnessed high-octane campaigns, rallies and roadshows by leaders of all political parties. 

The Kejriwal Sympathy Factor

The Lok Sabha election in Delhi took an interesting turn when the Enforcement Directorate arrested Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal in the alleged Delhi Liquor policy scam on March 21, five days after the Election Commission of India announced the general election poll schedule.

However, the AAP chief was released on interim bail on May 10, raising the stakes of the campaign two weeks ahead of the polling day. For about two weeks since then, Kejriwal campaigned throughout Delhi for his and the Congress party candidates. He has been AAP’s star campaigner and a prominent face of the opposition’s INDIA bloc formed in June last year.

'Also Read: AAP made accused' in Delhi excise policy case, ED files chargesheet against Arvind Kejriwal and his party

Kejriwal is out on bail until June 1, the last phase of the general elections. The results of the seven-phase Lok Sabha polls will be declared on June 4.

The INDIA bloc is clearly counting on the sympathy wave following Arvind Kejriwal's arrest. In fact, the AAP-Congress campaign in Delhi has focused on ‘jail ka jawab vote se’ (respond to jail by vote) slogans.

BJP’s Corruption Salvo

The BJP’s campaign, on the other hand, relies on Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ‘development’ agenda while questioning the credentials of Kejriwal – the once anti-corruption crusader who now named as accused in a money laundering case.

“The country also understands that if by mistake, any vote is cast in favour of the INDI alliance, that vote is not going to be of any use to the country. Every vote given to the BJP will strengthen the resolve of ‘Viksit Bharat’. That is why this huge sea of people is also saying in one voice ‘Phir Ek Baar Modi Sarkar’," PM Modi said addressing a rally in West Delhi’s Dwarka on May 22.

The PM attacked the Congress and said that the Sikhs were burnt alive in the 1984 riots in the national capital.

Congress seeks revival

The May 25 election assumes significance for the Congress party too. The grand old party, which was in power for 15 years in Delhi, is seeking a revival of its fortunes in the national capital. Former Congress President Sonia Gandhi on Thursday appealed people of Delhi to support INDIA bloc candidates on May 25 polling.

Even as Congress cadre has been busy campaigning along with that of AAP, the party faced some challenges within the leadership after it decided to stitch up an alliance with the AAP – its main rival in Delhi for many years. Delhi Congress chief Arvinder Singh Lovely resigned citing differences with the high command. He later joined the BJP.

The Key Contests

The seven seats are New Delhi, North West Delhi, West Delhi, South Delhi, North East Delhi, East Delhi, and Chandni Chowk. Here is a look at the con for these seven seats this Saturday.

New Delhi: New Delhi is a high-profile seat in the heart of the national capital, including the residences of the country’s top officials, including the President and the Prime Minister. 

Also Read: ‘Tiger is back’: How Arvind Kejriwal’s bail alters Lok Sabha poll campaign dynamics in Delhi and beyond

The seat has witnessed an intriguing clash between BJP candidate Bansuri Swaraj and AAP’s Somnath Bharti. Swaraj is the daughter of the late former foreign affairs minister Sushma Swaraj, and Bharti is an AAP MLA from Malviya Nagar. Union Minister Meenakshi Lekhi won the seat in 2019.

North East Delhi: The seat across the Yamuna river in the national capital is witnessing the most keenly watched fight in the national capital. The Congress has fielded Kanhaiya Kumar against the sitting BJP MP Manoj Tiwari. Both the candidates have roots in Bihar. Tiwari is the only BJP MP who was repeated as a candidate in 2024 in Delhi by the BJP.

Chandni Chowk: The seat, dominated by traders, is witnessing a contest between trade union leader and BJP candidate Praveen Khandelwal and Congress’s JP Agarwal. Former Union Minister Harsh Vardhan won the seat in 2019.

Also Read: Kanhaiya Kumar assaulted outside AAP office in Delhi amid ongoing Lok Sabha elections: 'Manoj Tiwari sent goons'

South Delhi: The BJP has fielded its MLA Ramveer Singh Bidhuri against AAP’s Sahiram Pahalwan from the South Delhi seat. Both the candidates come from Gurjar community which is a majority in the seat. The seat has been a BJP stronghold and was represented by Ramesh Bidhuri between 2019 and 2024.

West Delhi: BJP’s Kamaljit Sehrawat is pitted against AAP’s Mahabal Mishra. Sehrawat, the former mayor, represents a strategic move by the BJP, while Mishra is a seasoned politician from Bihar. Mishra won the seat on a Congress ticket in 2009.

North West Delhi: The North West Delhi seat is Reserved for Scheduled Castes. The seat is witnessing a face-off between BJP’s Yogendra Chandolia and Congress leader Udit Raj. In 2019, singer-turned-politician Hans Raj Hans won the seat as a BJP candidate. In 2014, Udit Raj won the seat as a BJP candidate.

Also Read: Lok Sabha Elections 2024: ECI wrong in its notice over Rahul Gandhi's Agniveer poll plank, says P Chidambaram

East Delhi: The East Delhi seat gained prominence in 2019 when former Indian cricketer Gautam Gambhir won from here as a BJP candidate. Gambhir, now mentoring Shahrukh Khan's IPL team Kolkata Knight Riders opted out of elections. This time the party has fielded Harsh Malhotra who is pitted against AAP’s Kuldeep Kumar. Malhotra is a former municipal councilor and a mayor and Kuldeep Kumar, an AAP MLA from Kondli.

 

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Published: 23 May 2024, 04:18 PM IST
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