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Will hot weather dampen voter turnout in Delhi?

May 03, 2009 16:36 IST

Will Delhi vote like Mumbai where only 43 per cent queued up to exercise their franchise?

This is the million-dollar question staring at mainstream political parties, which are employing various tactics to make sure that voting percentage remains as per their calculation here.

With weathermen predicting a scorcher of around 43 degrees Celsius on May seven when the capital goes to Lok Sabha polls, parties fear that voters may prefer remaining indoors than coming out to exercise their franchise.

Leaders campaigning at the height of the summer are asking their supporters and workers to vote during the early hours of polling. The voting on Wednesday will begin at 7 am and end at 5 pm.

"We have asked our unit, block, district level workers to cast their votes early. After that they have been asked to ensure that people come out and vote," a Congress leader said.

Fearing that a low turnout might be advantageous to ruling Congress, the Delhi BJP is emphasising on door-to-door campaign and asking voters to come out in large numbers.

The BJP is focusing on posh areas in New Delhi and South Delhi seats where it is feared that the turnout might be low. In these pockets, party candidates are asking voters to "bear the heat for a few hours of the day and ensure good governance for five years".

"That's why we are giving emphasis on drawing room meetings. Through this we are asking people in these areas to vote for BJP," party's Delhi state media incharge, Satish Upadhyay told PTI.

"We are convincing voters to come out in large numbers. We have gone for micro-management and are asking our office bearers to convince people asking them not to turn away from their responsibilities," Upadhyay said.

On the other hand, the BSP, which is aiming to open its account in the capital, fears that a low turnout may spoil its chances.

"Certainly, we will be the loser if there is low turnout of voters. In the low percentage voting, government of the day in that state gains," a party candidate said.

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