Till 2008 the Delhi assembly elections have primarily been contested among 2 parties – Congress and BJP – but 2013 is different as for the first time ever there will be 3 political parties fighting it out for the honors. At the moment the ruling party in Delhi is Congress and its main opponent is the BJP. The third piece of the jigsaw is the AAP or Aam Admi Party. The emergence of the third party has provided Delhi elections a new dimension and what is exciting is that there are no clear favorites this time around and absolutely anything can happen.
If Congress were to retain its present position it would act as a severe deterrent to Narendra Modi and impede his march towards the seat of the Prime Minister. If BJP wins then, obviously, it will boost Modi and BJP no end. If AAP were to win it will be the second major instance of a party winning on its first attempt after the NTR in Andhra Pradesh. On its part AAP has been trying hard to launch a successful beginning and people have been impressed with its crusade against corruption as well as promises of high class administration. However, it is hard to say that will run away a clear winner. In many areas across the city-state, people have been saying that while they like the new kid on the political block they are apprehensive about voting for it and the reasons are more than just one.
In some areas the local MLAs have been doing good work and therefore they deserve another opportunity. The older voters, in certain areas, are not yet ready to trust the AAP and feel that their vote may be wasted. In the areas where Congress has been found to be leading, it has been owing to the strong performance of the candidate over there. The BJP is a credible threat as well but in some instances the AAP has edged it out as far as a credible alternative to the Congress is concerned.
Also when considered on a man-to-man basis, Congress seems to have an edge over the other contenders. In certain circles though people are considering giving AAP a chance since other parties have received similar opportunities. In addition to these, some interesting possibilities are coming out. It is highly possible that Dikshit could lose in spite of overall success for her party and Kejriwal could suffer a similar fate as well.
However, this is not the only unique aspect of the Delhi elections. People in Delhi are not known to be really enthusiastic when it comes to exercising their franchise rights. In 2008, only 56% people polled their votes and this was the lowest in the history of the city-state. This is also one of the reasons that Election Commission would be focusing a lot on Delhi. Success, in terms of increase of voting percentages would indicate that its campaign to arouse and increase awareness among voters has been successful as well. Already Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh and MP have shown unprecedented voting percentages and this is also a reason as to why so much importance is being given to Delhi. However, this time it is different.
Majority of the selected electorate is urban and this perhaps shows that cities around the country are now becoming more serious about exercising their political rights in the wake of emergence of political entities such as Anna Hazare and Narendra Modi. Chaudhary Prem Singh is one of the most important names in Delhi politics. Singh also has the world record for having being an elected representative for the maximum period of time in India. He is an MLA for the Congress from Ambedkar Nagar constituency and has been winning from there since 1958. The 2013 Delhi assembly polls would mark his 13th effort.
Yet another unique fact about the politicians in Delhi is that the legislators here are able to increase their wealth after winning in the polls. As per the affidavits that have been submitted by the MLAs in the 5 states where assembly polls are being held – Delhi, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Mizoram – the MLAs from Delhi have achieved the maximum success in multiplying their fortune after winning in the elections – their property growth has been estimated at 259%. The leading candidate in this regard is Sat Prakash Rana, the BJP MLA from Bijwasan.
In 2008 his entire property was worth INR 6.38 crore but at present it is worth INR 111.89 crore. This represents a growth of 1652%. Delhi also has Nirman Bhawan, which is the most high-profile polling station in the whole country. It has some celebrated voters like Hamid Ansari, Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi and Sheila Dikshit. The Delhi elections, this time around, will also be special because of 551 transgender citizens who will be voting in a category specified for them. There will also be 159 people over the age of 100 years. The oldest voter will be Ganga Devi at 105 years.This time it is expected that 1.2 crore people will vote.
The unique thing about a party like AAP is that it is a largely untested one and will be approaching things in a way that will be markedly different from how the traditional parties do. In this way it will be bringing into play some dynamics that will not have been seen before. This, according to political analysts, will only add to the suspense and overall drama surrounding the elections. The results will come out only on December 8, 2013 but the experts are sure that this time around India will watch and take the results into cognizance and the effects of that action will be evident come the Lok Sabha polls in 2014.