After a night of terror in Mumbai where terrorists targeted ten places gunning down over 100 people, Delhi woke up with terrifying memories of the recent blasts in the capital, the heat generated by the polls giving way to fear and caution.
With newspaper headlines screaming with news of the attacks and television channels showing minute-by-minute coverage of the encounter between terrorists and security personnel along with live footage, people began calling up friends and relatives based in the financial capital.
"Please, now stop all the regional and religious differences. I am not concerned about which party wins. But will they be able to give us security? These politicians make such a lot of hue and cry if their 'Z' security cordon is withdrawn. Where is the security to the common man?" asks Ramsh Lal, a retired government official.
Till Wednesday, the talk on the street centered around the upcoming elections. The moods debating and comparing various candidates has now changed to sombre with almost everybody talking about the Mumbai attack.
"We are very sure that despite attacks like this the situation is not going to change with all the political parties blaming each other for the security lapses. We need a man with iron face to improve situations," says Rajesh Kumar, a private bank employee while traveling in the city's metro train.
His colleague was too upset and angry that the terrorists made security agencies look like non-existing.
"Look at the daredevil act. Were our security agencies sleeping?"
Some senior citizens who have been witness to several serial blasts in the country say this will be remembered as the most disastrous of all. "I did not sleep last night. I am travelling in the metro and now think that person next to me could be carrying a bomb. I have told my other family members to be at home and do not visit market places," says 60-year-old Ramji.
A senior Delhi police official says, "Our men have been briefed about the situation. We have strengthened security by deployed forces in maximum numbers. Checking are also being conducted at all public places."