New Delhi: Campaigning for the December 4 Assembly elections in Delhi ended on Monday with around 25 rallies and road shows being organised in the capital.
The public engagement programmers included those by BJP Prime Ministerial candidate Narendra Modi, Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit and Aam Aadmi Party leader Arvind Kejriwal.
While the city was plastered with posters promising safety to women and the issue figures big in party manifestos, only a few women have made it to the candidates’ list for the Delhi Assembly polls.
Both the BJP and the Congress may have supported the demand for reserving 33 per cent seats for women in Lok Sabha and legislative assemblies, but when it comes to fielding women candidates for polls in Delhi, the two parties fared poorly.
Only 11 women candidates have been fielded by the BJP and the Congress in the election for the 70-member House while 6 women are contesting the polls from Aam Admi Party.
Even though a woman Chief Minister has been heading the Congress government in Delhi for 15 years, the party has fielded only six women — which is 8.5 per cent of all candidates.
BJP has fielded five women candidates — which is 7.5 per cent of its total 66 contestants. The party has left four seats to its ally Akali Dal (Badal).
The number of tickets given to women candidates by the three leading parties is in sharp contrast to the population of women voters in Delhi.
According to electoral roll, a total of 1.19 crore people are eligible to vote, out of which over 53 lakh are women and 66 lakh are men.
Out of 810 candidates in the fray, only 70 are women. While the Delhi poll fray has only a few women, the number of millionaire candidates is quite high.
According to a recent release by the Association of Democratic Reforms, an independent election watch dog, at least a third of Delhi's candidates are millionaires and the richest candidate is worth over Rs 200 crore.
Next: 3-way battle as campaigning ends
3-way battle as campaigning ends
Abhishek Anand & Charu Narula | DC
New Delhi: As campaigning ended for the Delhi Assembly elections on Monday, political parties made a last-minute scramble to grab a bigger share of the voter’s attention. When the clock ticked 5 pm, loudspeakers of various parties blaring slogans for their respective candidates also went silent. Most of the candidates made their last bid to woo voters of their respective constituencies.
Combative chief minister Sheila Dikshit sought people’s support for a fourth consecutive term to continue the Delhi’s growth story and charged BJP prime ministerial candidate Narender Modi with “misleading” voters while asserting that the Aam Aadmi Party would not be a challenge to the Congress.
Dikshit countered Modi’s charge that she had failed to solve major problems facing the city and rolled out statistics arguing that Delhi had done better than Gujarat on many counts such as providing support to weaker sections and social sector spendings.
The 75-year-old Delhi CM, who led her party to three consecutive victories, said 19 per cent people in the BJP-ruled Gujarat were under severe poverty against Delhi’s 3 per cent. She said: “In Delhi, we provide Rs 1,000 to Rs 1,500 as monthly pension to old people and widows while the amount in Gujarat is Rs 200 to Rs 400.”
Rejecting the results of the opinion poll, she maintained that the contest would be between the Congress and the BJP.
The BJP insisted that this was Dikshit’s last straight stint in that chair. Senior BJP leader alleged that the Congress had already given up. BJP’s Sushma Swaraj tweeted, “My request to all well-wishers of the BJP in the country, if you know anybody in Delhi, please do persuade him/her to vote for the BJP.”
BJP chief ministerial candidate, Dr Harsh Vardhan, who spent most of the day in his Krishna Nagar constituency, said, "People are fed up with the 15-year misrule of Dikshit administration. Delhi is all set for a change,” he declared.
Kejriwal, who held an interactive session with voters in his New Delhi seat, said, “People will have to decide. Nothing will happen with what Sushma Swaraj says, all are scared.”
Kejriwal paraded on the streets to the capital with his supporters. The first time contestant said, “We have already done an intensive door-to-door campaigning. Today, I am going to see people who want to meet me.”