Special

Exit polls give AAP power in Delhi, BJP second, congress rout

February 08, 2015 06:25 AM
Final Judgement Day February 10

A year after its 49-day stint in power ended abruptly, Arvind Kejriwal's AAP was set to return to power in Delhi, exit polls said Saturday after record voting in assembly elections whose outcome is bound to have national ramifications.

A defeat for Prime Minister Narendra Modi's BJP in Delhi would harm his chances of consolidating power in Parliament, where his reform agenda is being thwarted. Modi needs to win most of the state elections over the next four years to gain control of both Houses of Parliament to deliver on his promise of jobs and economic growth.

Half-a-dozen exit polls said the AAP, born in 2012 on the strength of an anti-corruption movement, was likely to get between 31 and a staggering 53 seats in the 70-member assembly, relegating the BJP to the second spot and virtually wiping out the Congress, India's oldest political party.

The Bharatiya Janata Party could bag 17-35 seats. The Congress, which ruled Delhi for 15 years until December 2013, would be routed, winning no seat or at best four seats, the exit polls predicted.

A defeat for Prime Minister Narendra Modi's BJP in Delhi would harm his chances of consolidating power in Parliament, where his reform agenda is being thwarted. Modi needs to win most of the state elections over the next four years to gain control of both Houses of Parliament to deliver on his promise of jobs and economic growth.

A happy Kejriwal, who ran an aggressive campaign over the months drawing huge crowds, expressed gratitude to the people of Delhi for voting for the Aam Aadmi Party in large numbers.

"(You are) so amazing," he tweeted. "(You) rejected politics of caste and religion. Hope final results (are) as per exit polls."

Putting up a brave face, BJP's chief ministerial candidate Kiran Bedi disputed the exit poll findings and said she was confident her party would win. "Wait till Feb 10," she said, referring to the day the votes will be counted.

Senior AAP leader Yogendra Yadav said his party was headed for a landslide and could get more than 50 seats.

There was no comment from BJP president Amit Shah, who along with Prime Minister Narendra Modi had picked Bedi, India's first woman Indian Police Service officer and a former Kejriwal colleague, to head the BJP charge in Delhi, shocking the party's established leadership in the capital.

A record 67% of Delhi's 1.33 crore electorate voted on Saturday, with maximum polling recorded in low-income areas all over the city where the AAP enjoyed maximum appeal.

Today's Chanakya gave 48 seats to the AAP and 22 to the BJP. The BJP tally, if correct, would be less than the 28 the AAP had got in its maiden election 14 months ago. It said the Congress would be crushed.

A party will need at least 36 seats to form the government in Delhi.

The ABP-Nielsen survey gave the Aam Aadmi Party 43 seats and the Bharatiya Janata Party 26 seats. Any party will need at least 36 seats to form a government in Delhi.

The Times Now-C-Voter survey said the AAP was poised to win 35-43 seats and the BJP 25-33.

The India Today-Cicero put the AAP tally at 38-46 seats and of the BJP at 19-27.

The NDTV survey said the AAP could win 38 seats and the BJP 29.

The Axis-APM poll, however, credited 53 seats to the AAP and 17 to the BJP.

All exit polls put the Congress at a distant third, giving the party zero to a maximum of five seats.

Although the Delhi election was a battle for the city state, it became high profile after Prime Minister Modi addressed rallies asking people to reject the AAP and its leader Kejriwal whom he called a Maoist.

Huge billboards all across the capital as well as the BJP's advertisement blitz urged voters to support Modi.

 

 

 

 

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