Smile. An Amar, Akbar, Anthony Moment in Bitter Delhi Battle

Three Muslim friends arrive to vote - each supports a different party - AAP, BJP and Congress

New Delhi:

They arrived together on a scooter, three young men, around noon, with their purpose clearly stated. Each wore a cap as a summation of their choice: Arvind Kejriwal's Aam Admi Party or AAP for Aqeel, the BJP for Salman, and the Congress for Sonu. A voters' version of Amar Akbar Anthony, if you will.

The Muslim trio, who were voting in North West Delhi said they are close friends - not just because they were squeezed onto a scooter - and their political slants cause no arguments, just impassioned debates.

They were chided by this reporter for ignoring traffic rules and safety basics. "Why no helmets?" they were asked. "It's an exception today... just for voting," said Aqeel.

It is true that as the capital voted today, the cap was ubiquitous, the crowning glory at many long lines at polling centres.

The election in Delhi is a jitterbug between AAP and the BJP. The Congress, which governed the capital for 15 years till 2014, has been relegated virtually to bystander.

In the last election a year ago, the gains for AAP - then just two years old - came almost entirely from the Congress. Its leaders say that this time around, they expect to solidify that trend by winning a larger percentage of the Muslim vote, traditionally accrued by the Congress.

Yesterday, Syed Ahmed Bukhari, the Imam of India's largest mosque, the Jama Masjid, asked Muslims to support Mr Kejriwal, whose party was swift to reject his support, declaring it would not be annexed to any attempt to "communalise politics." Ashutosh, an AAP leader, said the party had no interest in the backing of a man who had insulted Prime Minister Narendra Modi last year.

Late last year, the Shahi Iman refused to invite the PM to a celebration of his son's anointment as his successor; he did, however, ask Pakistani Premier Nawaz Sharif to attend the dinner. The move was widely condemned by politicians from all parties.