Delhi Elections: Exit Polls, AAP And BJP

All exit polls pointed to an emphatic victory to the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) in the Delhi assembly elections held on Saturday. While the Arvind Kejriwal-led party is upbeat about the prospects of a second term, the BJP is at the moment, exuding confidence that it would form the next government. The BJP’s claim, though, is seen by analysts as bluster.

Throughout the campaign, Arvind Kejriwal and other AAP leaders kept the focus on development and other local issues in what proved to be a strategic move. AAP stressed on health care, education, water and electricity supply, among other things.

Arvind Kejriwal sought votes on the basis of his work—a rarity in Indian politics.

If the BJP loses badly as exit polls have been predicting, it has only itself to blame. The party leadership raised the stakes so high that a bad loss would now show it in poor light.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed three rallies in Delhi, while Union Home Minister, Amit Shah ran a high-voltage campaign including several road shows. Apart from the seven MPs in the national capital and union ministers, the BJP parachuted its chief ministers, including Yogi Adityanath.

If the exit polls proved to be correct, did the BJP do the right thing in queering the pitch on Shaheen Bagh? In putting the spotlight on the anti-CAA protests at Shaheen Bagh, the BJP perhaps went overboard with its campaign, which veered out of focus. This is best illustrated by the incendiary speeches of its leaders, Yogi Adityanath, Anurag Thakur and Parvesh Verma.

Delhi, as exit polls would have us believe, seems to have thought well beyond CAA or other national issues. It appears to have focused more on micro or local issues which mattered in day to day life.

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