February 7, 2015 8:00:40 pm
The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) is likely to form government in Delhi with a comfortable majority if exit polls are to be believed. The trends indicate a clear lead for Arvind Kejriwal-led party over the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) which is expected to finish a close second. The Congress, all polls show, will be routed in Delhi for the second consecutive time.
The trends were released by three different polling firms, minutes after voting concluded in the national capital. An impressive 67% of the Delhi electorate trooped out to vote on Saturday. The voter turnout in the last Assembly elections in Delhi in 2013 was 66%.
The ABP-Nielsen poll gives the AAP 39 seats, followed by BJP with 28 seats and the Congress 3 seats in the 70-member Assembly. A party or alliance needs to win the halfway mark of 36 seats to form government. In terms of vote share, the poll gives the AAP 37%, the BJP 32% and the Congress 19%.
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Another poll, conducted by News Nation, also shows that Kejriwal’s party has a clear lead over the BJP. The AAP is poised to get 39-43 seats and the BJP quite far behind with 25-29 seats, the survey shows. The Congress is likely to end up with 1-3 seats. The News Nation poll gives the AAP the highest vote-share of 47% followed by BJP with 39% and Congress with 11%.
A third survey, conducted by India TV-C Voter, portends 31-39 seats for the AAP, 27-35 seats for the BJP and 2-4 seats for the Congress. This is the survey which points to intense and neck-to-neck competition between the AAP and BJP. In terms of vote share, the AAP has a slight edge over the BJP with the former getting 42% and the latter getting 40%. The Congress is aimed to get just 11%.
If these exit poll projections turn out to be true when results are announced on February 10, it will be a sweet victory for AAP chief Arvind Kejriwal, whose party had suffered heavy casualties at the hands of the BJP in the 2014 general elections. Even though exit poll projections have proven to be wrong in the past, a defeat for the BJP in the national capital will be a major setback for the party as well as for Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who personally led the campaign.
For now, all eyes are on February 10 when results to the polls will be announced.
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