New Delhi: Delhi will witness a pitched three-corner contest in the Lok sabha polls between the BJP, the AAP and the Congress with several heavyweights including former Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit, ex-cricketer Gautam Gambhir and Vijender Singh in the fray.
While the BJP is seeking to repeat its 2014 performance of winning all the seven seats, the AAP is looking to open its account in the Lok Sabha polls from the national capital. In 2014, it drew a blank in Delhi, but won four seats in Punjab.
The Congress, on the other hand, is seeking resurrection after its decimation in the 2015 Assembly polls.
In the 2013 Assembly polls, the AAP bagged 29.49 percent of votes, while the BJP got 33.07 per cent votes. The Congress was relegated to the third position with 24.55 percent of vote share.
In the 2014 Modi-wave, the BJP bagged seven seats with over 46 per cent of vote share while the AAP got 32 per cent. The Congress share declined to 15 per cent.
The Congress vote share further declined in the 2015 Assembly polls to nine per cent while the AAP's share rose to 54 per cent. The BJP's vote share was 32 per cent.
However, the Congress improved its performance significantly in the 2017 civic body polls. It bagged 21 percent of votes, while the AAP got 26 per cent. The BJP, on the other hand, secured 36 per cent votes.
The surge in Congress' vote share led to the talks of having a pre-poll alliance between the Congress and the AAP.
Over the last three months, the AAP and the Congress were involved in hectic parleys for a tie-up which did not materialise. The AAP was seeking a pre-poll alliance beyond Delhi, but the Congress wanted the tie-up to be restricted only to the national capital.
The two parties were of the view that a combined vote share of the AAP and the Congress outnumbered the BJP's vote share.
In the 2019 Lok Sabha polls, the BJP has replaced two of its sitting MPs and given chance to new faces — Gambhir from East Delhi and Punjabi singer Hans Raj Hans from Northwest Delhi.
The AAP has fielded all fresh candidates including Atishi, the face behind the reformation of Delhi government schools, and Raghav Chadha.
The Congress on the other hand has fielded veterans like Dikshit, five-time MP J P Agarwal, former Union minister Ajay Maken and boxer and Olympic bronze medallist Vijender Singh.
The 81-year-old Dikshit will take on AAP's Dilip Pandey and Delhi BJP president Manoj Tiwari from the North-East Delhi seat.
The seat, known for its substantial Purvanchali population, has a rural belt comprising Narela and Bawana Assembly seats.
The East Delhi constituency will also see a slugfest between BJP candidate Gambhir, Congress leader and former Delhi minister Arvinder Singh Lovely and AAP's Atishi.
From West Delhi, BJP's Parvesh Sahib Singh Verma is locked in a fight with Congress' Mahabal Mishra and AAP's Balbir Singh Jakhar to retain the seat.
The West Delhi constituency comprises Sikh-dominated constituencies like Rajouri Garden, Tilak Nagar and Hari Nagar and rural constituencies like Najafgarh and Matiala.
From Chandni Chowk, a seat which has a substantial trading community, Congress' Agarwal will take on Union minister Harsh Vardhan and AAP's Pankaj Gupta.
Congress' Kapil Sibal had won this seat in 2004 and 2009.
The New Delhi constituency comprising the Lutyens zone will see a contest between BJP's Meenakshi Lekhi, AAP's Brijesh Goyal and Congress' Maken.
Maken represented this seat twice in 2004 and 2009, but was defeated by Lekhi in 2014.
The North-West seat, the only reserved constituency in Delhi, will see a contest between AAP's Gugan Singh, BJP's Hans Raj Hans and Congress's Rajesh Lilothia.
The seat was won by BJP's Udit Raj in 2014.
The South Delhi Lok Sabha seat will see two debutants — AAP's Chadha and Congress's Vijender Singh — locking horns with sitting MP and BJP candidate Ramesh Bidhuri.
Bidhuri had defeated AAP candidate Col Devinder Sehrawat by a margin of 1.07 lakh votes in 2014.
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Updated Date: Apr 24, 2019 08:57:43 IST