Congress calls in four CMs to woo migrants
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With the Delhi Assembly elections becoming a dead heat race, the Congress is pulling out all stops to retain the state as the campaign came to a close. It fielded four of its chief ministers to woo regional voters and, perhaps for the first time, people from the southern states in the capital — sizeable in at least 20 seats — were in focus.
Be it the Congress or the BJP, wooing the dominant Punjabi and the sizeable Purvanchali populations have always been a part of their election strategies. And so does the pahari (people from the hills) population and, consequently, both Uttarakhand Chief Minister Vijay Bahuguna and his Himachal Pradesh counterpart Virbhadra Singh were here.
Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda was also in the capital, reaching out to the Jat populations in the outskirts of Delhi and former Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh and Punjab Congress chief Pratap Singh Bajwa doing the rounds in Punjabi-concentrated areas.
But this time around, people from the South seem to be in focus. The BJP actively reached out to them — said to have sided with the Congress traditionally — while a desperate Congress did everything it could to retain them as well as the state, knowing well that the verdict in Delhi can have a national impact.
So, there are recorded voice messages being sent in Telugu, campaign pamphlets distributed in Tamil, street-corner meetings where no less than the Chief Minister of Kerala addressing the gathering in Malayalam.
Oommen Chandy, who has never campaigned outside Kerala, addressed three meetings on Monday — one each in Mayur Vihar, Hastsal and Harinagar — hardselling the Delhi Metro, which is now building a similar transport system in Kochi. According to Congress estimates, there are over 10 lakh Keralites in Delhi, closely followed by Tamils and Telugu-speaking people.