Polling over, time for break? Not really for Delhi’s top leaders
The Lok Sabha polls may be over in Delhi, but most leaders of the major political parties, instead of taking a “well-deserved” break from the heat and dust of elections, are busy campaigning for their parties in other states.
AICC general secretary and Delhi in-charge Shakeel Ahmed said there was no official communication to sitting MPs in Delhi to campaign elsewhere. “However, if someone wants to campaign for another leader, then it’s up to them,” he said.
West Delhi MP Mahabal Mishra said he would travel to Lucknow on Thursday for campaigning. “I have been busy in Delhi, meeting people. It’s business as usual until the election results,” he said.
Ramesh Kumar, South Delhi MP, was in Rajasthan’s Churu district for two days last week for campaigning. Krishna Tirath, Northwest Delhi MP, has left for Uttar Pradesh to campaign.
Ajay Maken, New Delhi MP, has been busy as the party’s communications department head. “This election is being fought unlike any other. It’s coming down to what the two parties are conveying to the people and, as a result, the work of the communications department has increased tremendously,” a source close to Maken said.
Three MPs — Sandeep Dikshit (East Delhi), Kapil Sibal (Chandni Chowk) and J P Aggarwal (Northeast) — though are not campaigning elsewhere.
The party’s Delhi leaders are camping in Amritsar, from where senior leader Arun Jaitley is contesting. Congress’ Captain Amarinder Singh is up against Jaitley.
BJP leaders Parvesh Sahib Singh (West Delhi candidate), Ramesh Bidhuri (South Delhi candidate) and Manoj Tiwari (Northeast Delhi candidate) are scheduled to campaign in Amritsar.
The BJP’s youth wing, Leader of House (South Delhi Municipal Corporation) Subhash Arya, senior leader Ashish Sood and MLA R P Singh have been entrusted with the task of ensuring victory for Jaitley. Former Delhi CM Madan Lal Khurana’s family members, too, have been visiting Amritsar.
“It is a tough fight and we need to win. Leaders from Delhi are pitching in to make Jaitley win,” a senior BJP leader said.
Bidhuri and Tiwari will be travelling to other parts of the country, too, for campaigning.
Senior Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leaders as well as volunteers have packed their bags to flock to two key poll battlegrounds — Amethi and Varanasi.
“With AAP chief Arvind Kejriwal taking on BJP’s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi in Varanasi, his campaign manager during the Delhi Assembly elections, Gopal Mohan, has been in Varanasi for weeks. Party leaders have also sought the help of social media to urge volunteers and AAP supporters to join the campaign in these seats,” an AAP leader said.
To help Kumar Vishwas, AAP candidate from Amethi, former Delhi Health Minister Satyendra Jain and former Transport Minister Saurabh Bhardwaj have been asked to pitch in.
Vishwas is up against Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi and BJP’s Smriti Irani.