Parties had been hiring the private sleuths in the previous elections too to know various details about their rivals but this time the detectives are being hired on a large scale at individual level by ticket aspirants particularly to check activities of their opponents within the party.
"Hiring private detective agencies ahead of the elections is an established practice by now. But hiring them at individual level to evaluate the chances of their rivals getting tickets and other details is a recent trend," said Mahesh Chandra Sharma, Managing Director of GDX Detectives Pvt Ltd.
Industry sources said there are around 150 detective agencies operating in Delhi out of which 13 are considered having specialisation in political espionage.
Out of 150 detective agencies, 13 are experts in political espionage
"All these 13 agencies have their hands full and now they have started rejecting any more clients," they said.
Sharma said almost all parities hired private detectives in the city and at individual level, these agencies are being tasked by various politicians to find out whether the lobby supporting them are also supporting their rivals. "They have been given jobs like gathering information on their rivals' influence in a constituency and also to ascertain their antecedents including whether they face any criminal charges," Sharma said.
Over 1,600 Congress workers have applied for tickets for 70 constituencies while over 1,000 aspirants have sought party nomination from BJP for the December 4 assembly polls. According to Sharma, all political parties have already hired several detectives and their agencies and spending quite a big amount on them.