Delhi Elections 2013
Date of election: 4 December 2013 (Wednesday)
Date of results: 8 December 2013 (Sunday)
Major political parties
The three major parties contesting the Delhi elections are as follows:
- Aam Aadmi Party: Formed by ex-Income Tax commissioner and social activist Arvind Kejriwal, the AAP has overshadowed everyone else in terms of agenda and discussions. With the election symbol of the broom, the party asserts that it is the only honest political outfit, and is adamant on sweeping clean the political system of India. Among its many radical promises to the public is the enforcement of the Jan Lokpal Bill in Delhi within 15 days of coming to power. Even though set back by the sting operation, the party, according to pre-poll surveys, is sure to emerge as a serious force.
- Indian National Congress: After ruling the roost for 15 consecutive years in Delhi, the Congress party is facing near-extinction in the coming polls. The reason for this is twofold: the growing nation-wide dissatisfaction with the Congress over issues of corruption and weak leadership, and the back-breaking hike in prices in the capital city. With electricity bills and vegetable prices on an all-time high, it is far-fetched to assume that the Congress can make a return to power.
- Bharatiya Janata Party: The BJP played its cards perfectly by capitalizing on the anti-incumbency mood in the capital and choosing an honest face as it CM candidate, Dr. Harshvardhan. Conquering the Delhi legislative assembly would have been a cakewalk in 2013, but for the unexpected popularity of the AAP. The BJP does have a loyal support base in the capital, but these are no ordinary elections and it will do well not to count its chickens too early.
Pre-poll surveys have gradually shown the AAP party to be gaining popularity. Realistic estimates, however, don't see the party coming to power in the capital, and a hung assembly is the most likely possibility. Naturally, each part is raking itself on top it its own surveys. For the 70 seats of Delhi legislative assembly, the scenario is as follows.
|Survey conducted by||Seats won by AAP||Seats won by BJP||Seats won by Congress|
|Times Now, C-Voter||18||25||24|
- Aam Aadmi Party: The AAP has been the most aggressive and innovative campaigner in the 2013 elections. A party "of the people, for the people, by the people", it raised 20 crore in donation towards party campaigning funds. Kejriwal has made full use of advertisements through the auto-rickshaw drivers of Delhi, where he has a huge support base. Roadside hoardings and radio messages are also aplenty. But perhaps the biggest example is the large number of volunteers that are campaigning for the party on the streets. People from all over India and even abroad gathered for a few days ahead of the elections to spread the word and educate the masses.
- Bharatiya Janata Party: The BJP is looking to bank on the anti-Congress mood and its honest CM candidate, Dr. Harshvardhan. Through billboards and media messages, the party is focusing on the unprecedented price hike, indicating that the BJP is the better alternative. One new initiative the party has embraced is the use of online marketing, as websites and social networks are flooded with pro-BJP advertisements. The popularity of Modi is also working in the party's favour, even though he is not contesting the Delhi elections.
- Indian National Congress: Predictably, the Congress party has been on the back foot. Despite claiming that Delhi has progressed by leaps and bounds during its rule, the party has little to offer. Sheila Dikshit has released several statements expressing confidence of winning Delhi's elections, but nobody is ready to believe it except the Congress.
The 2013 elections are special as certain new electoral laws are being introduced for the first time. In Delhi, the changes will be as follows:
- None of the Above (NOTA): The voters in Delhi this time will also have the right to cast their vote for "None of the Above". This causes the vote to go neutral. Although a welcome step towards electoral reforms, one can't overlook the fact that NOTA does little to improve elections. A better alternative would have been the Right to Reject, which provides much more weight to voter dissatisfaction.
- Central Awareness Observers: These are special teams deployed by the Election Commission to look out for Poll Code violation by political parties. However, given the advisory role of the commission, it remains doubtful that the new initiative will be able to achieve much.
The Election Commission of Delhi was constituted under the Articles 243K and 243 ZA of the Constitution, which require every state and union territory to elect a commission to oversee the conduct of elections. The responsibilities carried out by the commission include, but are not limited to:
- Registration of new voters
- Preparation of electoral rolls
- Registration of political parties
- Overseeing the process of nomination, verification, etc., of candidates
- Supervising poll expenditure
- Conduct of political parties during elections
Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) of Delhi
The CEO of Delhi heads the state election commission. Vijay Dev is the chief electoral officer for Delhi. He can be contacted at 011-23977130 (office) and 23969611 (fax).
Delhi 2013: All about the Aam Aadmi Party
Irrespective of one's political leanings, it's impossible to ignore the limelight the Aam Aadmi Party has captured in the national capital. Kejriwal's solo campaign to sweep clean the country of corruption has transcended politics and become a sort of social phenomenon never witnessed before. With an army of volunteers and funds pouring in from both India and abroad, the AAP has emerged as a serious contender, and who knows, maybe even the largest party in the Delhi assembly elections.
Contesting Political Parties of Delhi
|Party Name||Chief Minister Candidate||Constituency Name||Seat Contesting|
|AAP||Arvind Kejriwal||Krishna Nagar||69|
|BJP||Harsh Vardhan||New Delhi||66|
|INC||Sheila Dixit||New Delhi||70|
|SAD||Harsh Vardhan (as part of NDA )||-||4|
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Last Updated on : December 5, 2013