Bharatiya Janata Party's (BJP) Meenakshi Lekhi is leading against Congress' Ajay Maken and AAP's Brijesh Goyal in the New Delhi Lok Sabha seat, as per early trends. This triangular fight for the pivotal New Delhi seat is as tight as it can get. All three of the leaders had an edge over the other two in different fronts.Congress' Ajay Maken entered the fight with a lot of experience. Maken had won twice from the same seat - in 2004 and in 2009. In 2004, Maken defeated BJP leader Jagmohan and in 2009 he defeated Vijay Goel. Maken had also served as the President of the Delhi Congress Committee.
Maken had always been in favour of an AAP-Congress alliance in Delhi. Once the talks fell through, he said in an interview to a newspaper that if there were an alliance between the Congress and AAP, then they would have won all the seats in the capital city by margins of 2-3 lakh votes. "Now we won't win all seven seats and the margins will be smaller,' he sai.
The senior Congress leader had cause for concern because contesting against him was firebrand BJP spokesperson Meenakshi Lekhi. The hold that Maken had established with his consecutive victories in New Delhi was blown to pieces by Lekhi who had won from the seat overtaking AAP's Ashish Khetan and pushing Maken to the third slot in 2014.
Now, Lekhi who had been banking on her achievements and PM Modi's leadership to sail through in the Lok Sabha Elections 2019 also had a lot of challenges to face. For starters, Lekhi's biggest challenge was the traders affected by sealing of commercial establishments in Delhi. Then there were also the bureaucrats who were unhappy with the Seventh Pay Commission anomalies. Maken, an experienced hand, did not let this opportunity go and made Delhi sealing one of his top poll pitches. He criticised the AAP government in the capital and the BJP government in the centre for failing to stop the sealing.
Maken also claimed to be the first person in the country to include environment in his 2004 poll campaign. He also said that pollution as an issue is of utmost importance - something every resident of Delhi, reeling under the impact of air pollution, was perhaps, very relieved to hear.
The third contender in the mix was AAP's Brijesh Goyal, who, for starters never even considered Maken and Lekhi as "competition". As foolhardy as it might have seemed, Goyal had his reasons. According to him, Maken who won the seat twice and served for 10 years was unable to serve the people and Lekhi, on the other hand, was an absentee MP. He too pounced on the sealing issue and said that she could not stop the sealing drives.
Additionally, Goyal banked on the achievements of the AAP government and pegged his campaign on a full statehood for Delhi.
The Lok Sabha Elections were conducted in Delhi in one phase on May 12. The seven Lok Sabha seats in Delhi are Chandni Chowk, North East Delhi, East Delhi, New Delhi, North West Delhi, West Delhi, South Delhi.