As some 14.7 million Indians gear up for an assembly election in New Delhi, party leaders are seeking to attract new voters, calling on women and the young to storm the polls in a bid to edge out the competition.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi – whose Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) aims to unseat Delhi’s current chief minister, Arvind Kejriwal – took to Twitter early on Saturday to urge India’s youth to flock to the voting booths.
Urging the people of Delhi, especially my young friends, to vote in record numbers
दिल्ली विधानसभा चुनाव के लिए आज मतदान का दिन है। सभी मतदाताओं से मेरी अपील है कि वे अधिक से अधिक संख्या में लोकतंत्र के इस महोत्सव में भाग लें और वोटिंग का नया रिकॉर्ड बनाएं।Urging the people of Delhi, especially my young friends, to vote in record numbers.
— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) February 8, 2020
In the last contest in 2015, the BJP won only three seats in New Delhi’s 70-member assembly. This time around, the party is running heavily on the strength of Modi’s policies, citing moves to develop Kashmir and the hotly contested Citizenship Amendment Act, and also vowing to bring jobs to the unemployed and to clean up air pollution in the city of over 20 million people.
Chief Minister Kejriwal of the anti-corruption Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), meanwhile, sought to capitalize on the female vote, calling on women to come to the polls, though also suggested they bring along their husbands.
“Just as you bear the responsibility of home, bear the responsibility of the country and Delhi,” he tweeted in Hindi.
All women must go to vote and take the men of their houses.
The Indian Congress Party, the major third contender in the race, ruled Delhi for some 15 years before a major upset in 2015, in which it managed only about 10 percent of the vote against the AAPs 54 percent total. While the party’s leadership has been unusually quiet during the current campaign, local candidates running with Congress have issued an eight-point manifesto promising to fight pollution and to transform New Delhi into a “progressive city,” among other things.
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