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Will Delhi pass the Pappu test?

As the Capital goes to the polls on Thursday to elect its seven MPs, all eyes will be on the voter turnout. The city’s earlier score for the 2004 Lok Sabha election was 47% but a tally of 59% in the Assembly elections last November has raised expectations. Surely, the Capital will do better than Maximum City?

Only after Thursday ends will this issue be settled. But two things are apparent. One, Congress has a decisive edge in the city and may bag six of the seven seats. Two, there are no overarching issues that will sway the entire city. This despite the parties’ pitch for terrorism, price rise and development. These are sporadic issues that appeal only to select groups of people.

That coupled with the fact that these are the first parliamentary elections post-delimitation, makes for an interesting election where 111 lakh voters — 25 lakh of them first-timers — will decide the fate of 160 candidates. In fact, Delhi has the highest number of candidates — 23 on average per seat — after Puducherry.

It is a straight Congress vs BJP battle in the city with BSP’s chances of emerging even as a spoiler looking extremely slim after its candidate in the North-East Delhi seat crossed over and is now seeking votes for the Congress.

The fate of two Congress ministers — Ajay Maken from New Delhi
and Kapil Sibal from Chandni Chowk — will be decided on Thursday. While Sibal faces a Lok Sabha rookie in Rohini councillor and former MCD Standing Committee chairman Vijender Gupta, Maken is up against former Union minister and three-time MP Vijay Goel.



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