As campaigning drew to a close on Tuesday, candidates across West Delhi put their best foot forward to reach out to voters. While the AAP and the BJP attempted to reach out to sections they felt had been left out, the Congress used campaign tactics it had not employed so far.
If Navjot Singh Sidhu, former cricketer and sitting MP from Amritsar, attempted to reach out to Sikhs for BJP’s Parvesh Singh Sahib Verma, AAP’s Jarnail Singh reached out to sections other than Sikhs. He also visited Sikh-dominated areas during a roadshow.
Each candidate attempted to put his best foot forward, including Congress’ Mahabal Mishra, who went on a door-to-door campaign in at least three Assembly segments in the constituency.
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Four days ago, Janakpuri, a Sikh-dominated area in West Delhi, had seen Parvesh’s jansabha attract very little crowd with BJP’s star campaigner Sukhbir Singh Badal, Deputy CM of Punjab, failing to turn up. To remedy that error, the BJP brought another star campaigner in Navjot Singh Sidhu on the last day of campaigning, leaving residents of Tilak Vihar chanting “BJP zindabad” at the end of a nukkad sabha.
In Tilak Vihar, addressing a crowd of 500 people, Sidhu said, “With Modi government, the victims of the 1984 anti-Sikh riots will be given justice. Arvind Kejriwal made several promises to people and won their votes. When he couldn’t fulfil their wishes, he fled. How can a man who can’t run Delhi run the country?”
By 1 pm, the candidates were halfway through their roadshows. In Uttam Nagar, while Mishra reached out to residents, appealing them to vote on the basis of development and not caste, Jarnail Singh went to Nangloi, Janakpuri and Vishnu Garden in a cavalcade of at least 15 cars and seven bikes, up by nearly 50 per cent that was accompanying him till Monday.
As Jarnail Singh rode across his constituency in an open jeep, AAP workers distributed wrist bands, caps and pamphlets among people. “Inquilaab zindabad” and “rang de basanti” resonated across the streets.