By Mayank Jain:Â
If democracy is a spectacle, then elections are the crucial dance sequence that sets the stage on fire. The national capital, Delhi went to the polls yesterday to decide the Ministers of Parliament for the next 5 years and set a new standard for the world to follow. Here are 7 different things that made the election-day interesting for Delhi:
1. Massive Turnout: So called armchair activists of Delhi who are criticized for their criticism, gave way to action yesterday morning. Crowds thronged the polling booth until late in the evening and the turnout was an impressive 64% till 6 PM. More people casting their vote is definitely a sign of increment of faith in democracy.
2. Fact check: Delhi is one of the most interesting electorates, not for nothing. There were as much as more than 16 candidates in 6 out of 7 seats. Also, the total number of candidates is 150 but only 12 of them were female candidates including AAP’s better known candidate Rakhi Birla in a close contest with Krishna Tirath from Congress. There were a minimum of 14 candidates fielded from every constituency which is a feat in itself given the general perception of ‘apathy’ towards politics.
3. Fiery Social Media: Facebook, Twitter and many other platforms have already turned into an alternative battleground for supporters to shout for their parties and for cynics to scoff at every move. The elections yesterday however, witnessed a large amount of interaction by people posting their inked selfies after voting. Some others used the new Facebook feature and announced, “I am voting in Delhi Elections” to their peer group. Social media definitely added a colour of craze and engagement to the political process.
4. Multi Sided Contest: Delhi is one of the more influential political arenas and rightly so, because of its status of the national capital and cosmopolitan culture. Delhi stayed on the top in the number of parties that fought, that too for just 7 seats. As much as 150 candidates fought it out for the coveted job including 57 independents.
5. None Of The Above: More and more people were aware about the NOTA option this time and its implications. Credit goes to heavy publicity by the election commission and voter awareness drives which made sure that people know about their right to reject when they go to polls. Only final results will tell if a substantial population has chosen NOTA this time, but awareness is a fresh start.
6. Clash of the Titans: Chandni Chowk, the major seat of Delhi’s constituencies saw a fierce competition today with as much as 25 people fighting for the one seat. Among the biggies were Ashutosh, Kapil Sibal, Dr. Harsh Vardhan and Ajay Kumar Khemka from AAP, INC, BJP and KJP respectively. There were 8 independents as well as 17 political parties who filed nominations from the seat.
7. Narendra Modi’s Shocking Disclosure: After avoiding and escaping the questions on his marriage, Narendra Modi has finally disclosed in his election nomination paper that he was marriedÂ to Jashodaben. He filled the name in the mandatory matrimonial column in the papers which he had been leaving blank in assembly elections. He has always been RSS’s proud member, the organization which emphasizes celibacy and the revelation set a storm on Twitter, with people making strong allegations against him and condemning him for hiding things as big as this. The same can now swing some voters away from BJP’s side but the numbers will tell us how many actually did.