NEW DELHI: The high-pitched campaign for the August 23 Bawana assembly bypoll, which has become a prestige battle for the AAP and the BJP, came to an end today with the major contenders pulling out all the stops to ensure victory.
AAP national convenor and Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal hit the campaign trail in the outer Delhi constituency of over 2.94 lakh electors several times, and pressed his all Cabinet members for canvassing votes for party candidate Ram Chandra.
Though the AAP enjoys an overwhelming majority in the assembly, a victory in the bypoll would be a shot in the arm for the party after successive setbacks in the civic polls, the Rajouri Garden assembly by-election and the assembly elections in Punjab and Goa.
The BJP, which has just four members in the 70-member assembly, hopes to maintain its winning streak in the national capital where it is working hard to make a come back.
The other major contender is of the Congress, which is trying hard to open its account after being relegated to zero in the 70-member Delhi Legislative Assembly.
The BJP put all its might to win the bypoll, which was necessitated due to the resignation of AAP MLA Ved Prakash after he joined the saffron party ahead of the MCD polls earlier this year.
Prakash is now the BJP candidate.
On the last day of campaign, Delhi BJP president Manoj Tiwari, in an attempt to woo the largely rural electorate, had lunch with the family of a rickshaw-puller, Sri Chand.
The AAP tried to hard-sell the "achievements" of the Delhi government and sought to convey a message that only an AAP representative would help in the development of the constituency, which has a mix of rural and urban pockets.
On the last day, the AAP undertook a roadshow in the constituency.
The saffron party's Poorvanchal morcha led by its president Manish Singh canvassed votes in support of Ved Prakash. The constituency has a sizable Poorvanchali voters.
Congress candidate Surender Kumar made door-to-door visits at Krishna Vihar, Pooth Khurd and Rohini Sector 20 to seek votes, apart from the party holding 60 street-corner meetings, six padayatras and many public meetings.
Eight candidates are in the fray for the by-election on August 23 from the seat reserved for the Scheduled Caste category.
There are over 2.94 lakh electors eligible to exercise their franchise in the upcoming bypoll in Delhi, in which Electronic Voting Machines equipped with Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) would be used at all polling stations.
The counting will take place on August 28.