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Silent fight between Sheila Dikshit, Ajay Maken in Delhi


New Delhi, May 01: With 11 days remaining for polling in the national capital, the political temperature in Delhi is heating up day-by-day.

The Delhiites will vote on May 12 in the sixth of the seven-phase Lok Sabha elections to send their seven representatives to the Lok Sabha.

Former Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit and Congress leader Ajay Maken

The contest here is triangular between the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), the Congress, and ruling Aam Aadmi Party (AAP).

While the Narendra Modi government's achievements at the Centre is the main agenda of BJP candidates, the Congress is banking upon the achievements of its 15-year-rule in Delhi.

The AAP, on the other hand, has made full statehood for Delhi its main agenda. It is also highlighting AAP government 's performance in health and education sectors.

The North East Parliamentary constituency is one of the most discussed seat where former Delhi Chief Minister and Delhi Pradesh Congress Committee (DPCC) President Sheila Dikshit is pitted against sitting MP and Delhi BJP President Manoj Tiwari. Candidature of AAP's Dilip Pandey has made the fight triangular.

The seat has a sizeable population of people hailing from Bihar and Uttar Pradesh, who are called Poorvanchalis. The Poorvanchalis had played a major role in making Tiwari, the Bhojpuri actor-singer, victorious in 2014.

Another important vote bank is of Muslims, who have been settled in areas like Seelampur, Babarpur and Mustafabad.

Traffic congestion is top grievance of voters in NCT of Delhi

There are around four lakh Muslim voters in this constituency, highest in any seat of Delhi. The Congress, as well as AAP, have been eyeing to get a major chunk of Muslim votes.

Another important seat is New Delhi parliamentary constituency, where BJP has repeated its sitting MP Meenakshi Lekhi. She will be contesting against Congress' former MP and ex-Union Minister Ajay Maken. AAP has fielded trade union leader Brijesh Goyal from this high-profile seat.

However, this story is not about what is being reported in the media about these seats. It's about a silent fight that is going on between Sheila Dikshit and Ajay Maken.

It is notable that Maken and Dikshit are political rivals within the Congress.

Dikshit had won the latest political confrontation between them on the issue of stitching alliance with AAP in Delhi.

Maken, who was in favour of joining hands with the AAP, told Hindustan Times in an interview that had there been alliance with AAP, we (Congress) would have won all the seven seats, but we won't.

The insiders of Congress tell One India that the political rivalry between these two Congress leaders may benefit the BJP.

"Sheila camp is desirous of Maken 's defeat and the priority of Maken is of not only winning his seat but also ensuring defeat of Dikshit and her confidant Rajesh Lilothia, who is contesting from North West Delhi seat, " says an insider.

Maken, who has also been DPCC President, and Dikshit have their loyal supporters across Delhi. However, currently Dikshit has an upper hand.

Both the leaders have directed their loyal supporters to work against their bête noire, says the insider, adding that this will definitely help the BJP, which is eyeing to repeat its 2014 success when it had won all the seven seats of Delhi.

Around 1.36 crore voters, comprising 75.5 lakh men and 61.3 lakh women, will be eligible to vote in Delhi Lok Sabha elections. This includes 97,684 voters who are in the age group of 18-19 years.

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