Congress workers were conspicuous in their absence on Thursday as the capital went to polls in the third phase of the Lok Sabha elections.
Outside most polling booths, AAP and BJP workers had set up tables and were seen helping out voters. However, there was hardly any Congress workers present at the traditional strongholds.
The Delhi Congress leadership dismissed this as a “problem of the candidate”. “We conducted huge rallies in the city. One for the Congress president and the other for the party vice-president and they were both successful. However, bringing workers to the booth is the candidate’s responsibility. If he fails in that, it is possible that his relationship with his workers is not good,” Delhi Pradesh Congress Committee (DPCC) spokesperson Mukesh Yadav said.
All India Congress Committee general secretary and Delhi in-charge Shakeel Ahmed also blamed local-level arrangements for the lack of the party’s presence around polling booths. Party sources said after voting began, workers “understood that it was a contest between the AAP and the BJP” and left the booths.
A day after the elections, Congress leader Haroon Yusuf also conceded that there was a lack of enthusiasm among party workers. “Our workers were busy getting voters out of their homes to vote. However, spirit was lacking not just in the Congress but all parties. The BJP claims that there is a Modi wave in the country but I didn’t see any enthusiasm in their workers either,” Yusuf said.