NEW DELHI – Congress President Sonia Gandhi and Prime Minister Narendra Modi will join the politically charged battle for Delhi this week to campaign for their candidates while the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) led by former Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal will release his party’s manifesto today for the upcoming Assembly elections.
Modi will address a rally at the CBD grounds near Karkardooma in east Delhi, IBNLive reported. BJP leaders Rajnath Singh, Uma Bharti, Smriti Irani, ML Khattar, Navjot Sidhu, Ravishankar Prasad and Manoj Tiwari will hold rallies on Friday, the report said.
Shah, who spoke at a rally in Janakpuri yesterday, skipped any mention of Delhi's CM candidate Kiran Bedi. Union minister Smriti Irani too did not mention Bedi.
With only seven days left before Delhi goes to polls, BJP president Amit Shah has drastically stepped up campaigning to counter Kejriwal. But curiously, many BJP posters in Delhi now feature only Modi, Shah and the local party candidate, according to this NDTV report.
Gandhi will address a rally at the Meethapur Chowk in Badarpur constituency seat on February 1, Sunday. This will be her first rally of the election season. Security has been strengthened in the national capital ahead of major rallies planned by political heavyweights following intelligence inputs of terror threats during Delhi elections.
Security has been stepped up for Modi's four rallies in separate parts of Delhi.
Over 5,000 personnel will be deployed in and around the grounds where Modi will address party rallies. This will include officials of Special Protection Group (SPG), who look after the prime minister's security. SPG and Delhi Police have made elaborate arrangements at the rally venues - Shahdara in east Delhi on Jan 31, Dwarka in west Delhi on Feb 1, Rohini in north Delhi on Feb 3 and Ambedkar Nagar in south on Feb 4.
According to an official of Delhi Police, three-layered check points will be set up for every visitor at the venue. Visitors will be first checked at least 50 metres away from the ground. The second and third check points will be at the entry point. Apart from manual checking, the visitors will be checked through hand held metal detectors, door frame metal detectors and baggage scanner machines.
The SPG officials will take over the charge on stage, an hour before, from where the prime minister will address supporters. A limited numbers of leaders will accompany Modi while he is delivering his speech.
The grounds are kept under the watch of the CCTV cameras. Snipers including personnel of the elite National Security Guard will be deployed at the highrise building near the grounds. Police have requested the leaders to advise their supporters not to park their vehicles near the rally venues.
Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi has already addressed two election rallies in the capital.
AAP is ready with its manifesto and is expected to focus on the party's agenda for ensuring development, women's safety and water and electricity supply across the city.
"There are multiple highlights in our manifesto. Electricity and water are the two significant items. We are promising electricity tarrif reduction by 50 per cent and clean water supply. These are two big problems people of Delhi face. We will also make Delhi into a free wifi zone, we will make Delhi into a manufacturing hub and open 20 new colleges in the city," IBNLive quoted party officials as saying.
BJP has said it will come up with a 'vision document' and not a manifesto for Delhi. The party also announced that it would ask Aam Aadmi Party chief Arvind Kejriwal five questions everyday till February 6.
Delhi will go to polls on February 7 and the results will be announced on February 10.
(With inputs from agencies)