India: Congress missing in action, its AAP vs BJP

  • “AAP has given a new candidate – he is an educated lawyer, BS Joon,” A Delhi Local shop owner says, adding that BJP’s Sat Prakash Rana has been a two-term MLA and has worked for the constituency. Ask him if it is a three-cornered contest and he looks blank. He doesn’t even recall the Congress candidate’s name.
  • Congress, the party that once ruled Delhi for 15 years, from 1998 till 2013, and attributed for the development of the capital, is struggling in the run-up to the Delhi assembly election. It is missing from the campaign and people’s conversations.
  • While BJP’s voteshare has remained almost the same (33% in 2013 and 32.3% in 2015), AAP has actively made decisive in-roads into Congress’ voteshare.
  • So far, only two Congress chief ministers – Ashok Gehlot and Capt Amarinder Singh – have campaigned in the capital. Rahul and Priyanka Gandhi jumped into the campaign trail on 4 Feb 20, just 48 hours before campaigning ends on 6 Feb 20.
  • With this half-hearted fight being put up by the Congress, even the devoted voter is confused.
  • Mohammed Siddiqui, a resident of Jamia Nagar which comes under Okhla Assembly segment, says, “We have always voted for Congress. Even in 2015, we voted for Congress but this time they have no presence whatsoever. We know Congress cannot form the government. So, why would we vote for the losing side? We will vote for AAP.”

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