Various exit polls on Saturday predicted that the Aam Aadmi Party is likely to win the Delhi Assembly elections with a comfortable majority. The party had won 67 of the 70 Assembly seats in 2015.
The Times Now-IPSOS survey predicted 44 seats for the Arvind Kejriwal-led party while the saffron party was predicted to improve its 2015 tally and win 26 constituencies. According to ABP News-C Voter, the AAP may win 49-63 seats while the BJP may get anything between 5-19 seats. Republic TV- Jan Ki Baat survey gave the ruling party 48-61 seats, and the BJP 9-21 constituencies. The TV9 Bharatvarsh-Cicero poll predicted 54 seats for Kejriwal’s party, and 15 for the saffron outfit. The India Today-Axis exit poll said AAP would sweep the elections, winning 59-68 seats, while the BJP would bag 2-11 constituencies.
All the exit polls predicted a dismal outcome for the Congress, which did not manage to win a single seat in the last elections. According to ABP-C Voter, the best outcome for the Opposition party will be four seats. A poll of all the exit polls, put together by news channel NDTV, gave 56 seats to the AAP, 14 constituencies to the BJP.
Delhi BJP leader Manoj Tiwari dismissed the polls, and said they would fail on February 11, when the results are declared. Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia thanked AAP workers for their hard work and said the party would win by a huge margin.
According to ANI, Home Minister Amit Shah will meet party leaders, including Vijay Goel, Prakash Javadekar, Hardeep Singh and Nityanand Rai, at 8.30 pm to discuss the elections.
The voter turnout in elections on Saturday remained low through the day. An estimated 57% of the electorate voted, according to the Election Commission.
A poor show in the elections will be another blow to the ruling saffron party after it lost power in Maharashtra late last year. The elections were seen as a test of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s popularity following months of protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act. The law has been widely criticised as discriminatory and Indian Muslims fear it could be used with the National Register of Citizens to harass and disenfranchise them.
In the election campaign, the Aam Aadmi Party highlighted its work over the last five years to fix state schools and healthcare in the city. Meanwhile, the BJP did not name a chief ministerial candidate, and played the nationalism card. It claimed that the AAP’s position on the citizenship law was a threat to national security. The party deployed Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Adityanath, Union minister Anurag Thakur and West Delhi MP Parvesh Verma, among others, to assist Home Minister Amit Shah with campaigning.
The campaign was marked with bitterness as the BJP attempted to polarise the atmosphere in the national Capital along religious lines, and repeatedly targetted anti-citizenship law protestors at Shaheen Bagh. The Election Commission barred both Thakur and Verma from campaigning for different periods of time for making provocative remarks.