Curtains come down on high-voltage MCD campaigns

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Dust settled in rally grounds and loudspeakers fell silent as the electoral campaign for the high-octane Delhi municipal polls ended today. The BJP, the Congress and the AAP are locked in a triangular contest in the elections due on Sunday, even as other parties such as SP, BSP are JD(U) are also in the fray.

MCD campaigns

From door-to-door canvassing to high-decibel rallies, where campaigners resorted to witty and caustic sloganeering by turns, none of the parties left any stone unturned to woo voters. Poster wars played out through banners and hoardings added zing to an already surcharged atmosphere.

All parties have exuded confidence ahead of the polls, with the BJP, the AAP and the Congress claiming that they will bag over 200 seats. The AAP, betting big on the MCD polls, has been running a nearly three-month-long campaign with Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal holding a road show today and launching a stinging attack on the BJP and the Congress.

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Kejriwal said the people of Delhi would risk their childrens lives if they voted for the BJP in the MCD polls. “If you vote for the BJP and if your child falls prey to chikungunya or dengue, you are responsible for it,” he said.

Kejriwal also accused the BJP of covering up its “corruption and civic failure” in the local bodies by projecting Prime Minister Narendra Modi, and asserted that this strategy would not work. BJP and Congress both fronted their big guns during the campaigns, while regional parties like JD(U) and SP also brought in their top leaders to shore up their fortunes.

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A total of 39 top leaders of the Congress, including Ghulam Nabi Azad, Anand Sharma, Shashi Tharoor, Oscar Fernandes, Bhoopinder Singh Hooda, Salman Khurshid, Raj Babbar among others campaigned for the party candidates in different parts of the city.

BJP president Amit Shah, Union ministers M Venkaiah Naidu, Rajnath Singh, Uma Bharati and other top leaders campaigned for the saffron party. JD(U) also brought in its president and Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, who held two back-to-back rallies besides a road show early this month.

The JD(U) has alleged that all three parties — the BJP, the Congress and the AAP — have not done anything for betterment of the Purvanchalis — people hailing from Bihar and eastern Uttar Pradesh.

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The Generation-1 electronic voting machines (EVMs) brought in for the polls, have also hogged headlines. With Kejriwal questioning the integrity of the EVMs, the issue also spilled over to the rally grounds, with both Congress and the BJP using it to attack the AAP.

As many as two lakh liquor bottles were seized by Delhi Police in the last six weeks. Under the Delhi Prevention of Defacement of Property Act, 2007, 265 cases were registered, police said. As many as 625 posters, 658 banners and 273 hoardings have been removed, they said.

The State Election Commission has been running Voter Dhakad Hai awareness campaign and roped in five celebrities to exhort people to exercise their franchise.

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