NEW DELHI: All eyes will be on the fledgling Aam Aadmi Party as Delhiites vote on Wednesday in the assembly elections in which  BJP is seeking to stop Congress from clinching a record fourth win.

The entry of Arvind Kejriwal’s AAP has changed the dimension of the fight in the polls and it will be interesting to see whether the newbie will just be a “spoiler” or win some seats as predicted by opinion polls, riding on its anti-corruption plank.

The BJP had deployed a battery of top leaders including L K Advani, Narendra ModiArun JaitleySushma Swaraj and Nitin Gadkari who criss-crossed the entire city addressing scores of rallies asking people to “oust” the “corrupt” Congress dispensation.

With participation of almost the entire top brass, BJP’s campaign looked impressive compared to Congress. The Aam Aadmi Party mainly resorted to door-to-door campaigning while its leader Arvind Kejriwal addressed scores of road shows.

Both Congress and BJP have dismissed AAP as a serious contender but various pre-poll surveys predicted significant support for the newly formed party.

Though Congress president Sonia Gandhi addressed one rally and vice-president Rahul two election meetings, the entire campaign of the ruling party was led by 75-year-old chief minister Sheila Dikshit who sought people’s support for a fourth consecutive term to continue her “agenda of inclusive development”.

In what is seen as her toughest electoral battle, Dikshit may face people’s wrath because of significant rise in prices of vegetables and fruits in the last two months besides the anti-incumbency factor which is visible in certain areas.

Charges were also traded between BJP and Congress on a number of local issues like regularisation of unauthorised colonies, BRT corridor, demand for full statehood for Delhi and high water and power tariff.

A total of 1.19 crore voters are eligible to exercise their franchise on Wednesday. There are over 4.05 lakh first-time voters.

A total of 810 candidates are in the fray for the 70-member assembly. BJP has fielded candidates in 66 seats and Congress and AAP in all 70 constituencies.

The BSP has fielded candidates in 69 seats, NCP in nine and Samajwadi Party has fielded candidates in 27 seats. A total of 224 independents are also in the fray.

The elections in Delhi and four other states are being seen as the semi-final for the Lok Sabha polls next year.  see more

source: times of india