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It's Sonia versus Mayawati on star-studded Sunday

November 22, 2008 13:58 IST

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Poll-bound Delhi [Images] will witness star-studded election rallies on Sunday, organised by the Bharatiya Janata Party's ally Shiromani Akali Dal, the Congress and the Bahujan Samaj Party, which are trying their best to ensure impressive turnouts.

Congress president Sonia Gandhi [Images] will sound the election bugle from Mangolpuri in outer Delhi while Uttar Pradesh [Images] Chief Minister and BSP chief Mayawati [Images] will address a rally in Trilokpuri in east Delhi.

Another mega rally will be held by BJP's ally SAD, where party chief Prakash Singh Badal will woo Punjabi and Sikh voters in the city.

Onkar Singh Thapar, chairman of the election campaign committee of SAD, rubbished the idea that three rallies in a day would affect the crowd turnout. "Our voters will rally behind the SAD, there is no doubt about it. The BJP will come to power and our SAD candidates will win with a handsome margin," Thapar said.

The Congress is banking on leaders from unauthorised colonies, which is under threat this time from Mayawati's BSP. The lower ranks of the Congress have been told that a crowd of 40-50,000 is a must for a show of strength.

"The stakes are high, with Mayawati-led BSP making things tougher in this assembly polls. In fact, the strength of the crowd will be a litmus test for the political parties, indicating the mood of the voter's mind ahead of the November 29 assembly polls," a senior Congress leader said.

However, Delhi Pradesh Congress Committee chief J P Agarwal said the party is confident of the rally's success as "time-tested voters have always rallied behind the Grand Old party."

"No doubt a larger crowd would boost the morale of the cadres. But we don't have to worry, our traditional voters will come to hear our high command irrespective of any other rally," he added.

Criticising the BJP for spreading 'rumours' about the BSP eating into the Congress' votebank, Agarwal said, "We have done enough for the welfare of the people, particularly poor and Dalits. So where is the question of Mayawati pulling away our people?"

BSP supremo Mayawati has also asked party workers to mobilise voters and ensure that they do not let the party down on D-day.

The Congress is heading for the most crucial assembly election and seeking a third term in the capital. The BJP is attempting to unseat the incumbent government and make a comeback after ten years.

However, it will be the BSP, which after having shown impressive results in the municipal election, will play a critical role in deciding the political fortune of the national capital where the BJP and Congress have so far been major players.

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