- The polls were seen as a direct contest between the AAP and the BJP
- Exit polls have predicted another term for Arvind Kejriwal’s AAP
- Majority mark in the 70-member Delhi assembly is 36
Delhi’s decision on who would rule the national capital for the next five years will unfold today as the counting of votes begins at 8 am. Exit polls have predicted another term for Arvind Kejriwal, who came to power in 2015 with a massive mandate – forgiven after his apology for the 49-day government of 2014. Exit polls have also predicted a better performance for the BJP, which powered its campaign on the anti-Citizenship (Amendment) Act protests at Shaheen Bagh. The campaign has been bitter and polarised, the political discourse bogged down by threatening slogans and foul language. A last-minute controversy came up after the voting, over the Election Commission’s delay in announcing the final polling figures. Mr Kejriwal’s Aam Aadmi Party has alleged tinkering of Electronic Voting Machines. While the poll commission brushed off the possibility, the BJP said AAP was making excuses for defeat even before the votes have been counted.
Here are the 10 pointers on Delhi election results 2020
Most exit polls have predicted a comfortable victory for Arvind Kejriwal’s Aam Aadmi Party. An aggregate of half-a-dozen exit polls predicted that AAP will win 56 of Delhi’s 70 seats and the BJP, 14. Some exit polls have given Congress between one and three seats — which would be an improvement on its performance of 2015, when it drew a blank. The majority mark in the 70-member assembly stands at 36. Health warning – exit polls often get it wrong.
AAP is confident of repeating its success of 2015, when it won 67 of Delhi’s 70 seats. The party is banking on its work over the last five years – free power and water, an upgrade of the government-run schools and the introduction of mohalla clinics, billed as a huge step forward in the health sector.
The Chief Minister has given Delhi what he called a “10-point guarantee card”, which includes free power, 24-hour drinking water on tap, a clean Yamuna and a world-class education to every child. In its manifesto, AAP has also promised round-the-clock markets in the model of Mumbai and expanding the metro network into the “world’s largest”.
The BJP held a high-voltage campaign, confident that its seven-out-of-seven-score in last year’s Lok Sabha polls in Delhi augurs better fortune. In the run-up to the polls, the party pushed in its 270 MPs, 70 union ministers and state leaders to seek votes. Union minister Amit Shah contributed to the final push with a door-to-door campaign.
State BJP chief Manoj Tiwari has claimed the party will win 48 seats. The BJP has said the exit polls got it wrong as its voters had a leisurely day and turned out to vote only in the evening, when the polling figures also shot up.
The Congress, which ruled Delhi for three consecutive terms and was part of Mr Kejriwal’s 49-day government, had a comparatively lacklustre campaign. With the party yet to recover from its crushing defeat in the Lok Sabha election, its top leaders Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra attended few rallies. The state Congress, whose factionalism became glaring ahead of the general elections, got a further blow when Sheila Dikshit, three-time Chief Minister and state unit chief, died in July.
Held in the shadow of the protests over the contentious Citizenship Amendment Act, the National Population Register and the National Register of Citizens, the two-month campaign has been divisive, with the rhetoric on a downward spiral. “Goli maaro” slogans were raised at the meetings of several BJP leaders and the Chief Minister was publicly called a “terrorist” by a union minister.
Late on Saturday evening, AAP claimed that efforts were made to tamper with the Electronic Voting Machines and cited videos, which they said, were of voting machines being taken away illegally. The Election Commission said the EVMs in question were reserve machines not used in polling.
With final polling figures un-announced till the middle of the next day, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal tweeted, “Absolutely shocking. What is EC doing? Why are they not releasing poll turnout figures, several hours after polling?” Announcing the final figure of 62.7 per cent on Sunday evening, the poll commission said it came out in “good time”.
In the 2015 assembly polls, the AAP had won 54.3 per cent vote, while the BJP got 32 per cent and the Congress just 9.6 per cent.