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AAP garnered 54.3% in 2015 as opposed to 29.49% in 2013 when it made its debut in the Delhi elections and won 28 seats. Photo: Sneha Srivastava
AAP garnered 54.3% in 2015 as opposed to 29.49% in 2013 when it made its debut in the Delhi elections and won 28 seats. Photo: Sneha Srivastava

Delhi assembly elections: Five things to watch out for

  • Exit polls have projected a majority for incumbent AAP
  • Stakes are high for BJP as the party lost Jharkhand polls and failed to form government in Maharashtra

New Delhi: The Election Commission will announce the results for the 70 member Delhi assembly on Tuesday. The poll saw a three-cornered high stakes contest between the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Congress.

The five things to watch out for:

Hat-trick for AAP?

All exit polls have projected a majority for the incumbent AAP under the leadership of chief minister Arvind Kejriwal. A win for the third time in Delhi has the potential of sealing its position as a key alternative to BJP and the Congress.

AAP fought this election banking on the work of its five-year government especially in the areas of education, health, water and electricity. Senior party leaders feel if the exit polls hold forth, it will be a vindication of their development agenda.

A win in Delhi, will also be a shot in the arm for the party which was formed less than a decade back. After having won elections in Delhi with a brute majority in 2015, the party has struggled to replicate the success in Lok Sabha and local body elections in the state.

Lok Sabha repeat for BJP?

The assembly elections in Delhi is important for the BJP because the party managed to win all seven Lok Sabha seats for the past two times. The stakes are also high for the BJP because the party lost states polls in Jharkhand and could not form government in Maharashtra because of alliance trouble with Shiv Sena. The BJP leadership is strongly hoping for a win before the crucial Bihar assembly polls later this year.

In the run up to the polls, BJP, which had won only three of the 67 assembly seats in 2015, was seen as a key challenger to AAP. However, most exit polls have predicted that even as the party increases its tally in comparison to the 2015 polls, a clean sweep is unlikely.

Congress' stakes?

Exit polls were in consensus projecting a bleak outlook for the Congress party in this election, predicting 0-2 seats. In the previous assembly elections and last two national elections, Congress had drawn a blank.

If it performs poorly in Delhi, India’s biggest opposition party could be staring at an electoral decimation in the national capital. Since the Lok Sabha elections in May last year, Congress has formed government in Mahrashtra and Jharkhand but is a junior partner to regional parties in both states.

Decisive or fractured mandate?

The Delhi assembly results in 2015 had given a decisive mandate to AAP which had won 67 of the 70 assembly segments in the national capital. A decisive win for a party this time around could mean a stronger assembly and easier decision making powers. Being a special state, matters related to land, law and order come under the central home ministry. With the exception of the 2013 assembly elections, Delhi has historically been in the favour of decisive mandates.

Vote share

In a small state like Delhi, all eyes are on the vote share. In the 2015 elections, even though the BJP had a vote share of over 30%, the party was limited to just three seats in the assembly. The AAP had swept the state with approximately 54% vote share. The Congress had a vote share of approximately 9%. This election, it would be interesting to see if either of the national parties are able to take away from AAP’s vote share.

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