AAP seeks to repeat poll performance in Delhi; BJP hopeful of springboarding on LS election success

NEW DELHI: The ruling AAP will face the Delhi election next month with the hope to repeat its stellar performance in the last Assembly polls, while the BJP, which bagged all seven seats here in the Lok Sabha election, will be aiming at expanding its vote share in the national capital.

The Arvind Kejrial-led Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) had got 54.3 per cent votes in the 2015 Assembly polls, while the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) got a vote share of 32 per cent and the Congress managed to bag just 9.6 per cent of the total votes polled.

The 70-member Delhi Assembly will go to polls on February 8, the Election Commission announced on Monday, setting the stage for a political battle in the backdrop of a number of issues, including the amended citizenship law.

The AAP had stunned political heavyweights in the 2015 polls, bagging 67 of the 70 seats, leaving just three for the saffron party, while the Congress had drawn a blank. However, in the 2019 parliamentary polls, the BJP led the show, sweeping all seven seats.

The saffron party had amassed a whopping 55 per cent vote share, leaving the Congress on the second spot with 22.50 per cent votes and the AAP at a dismal low of 18.10 per cent votes. In 2019, the AAP won only one seat of the over 40 it contested across nine states and Union territories and its vote share in the national capital was the highest in the country.

The Kejriwal-led party had fielded candidates in Delhi, Chandigarh, Bihar, Goa, Punjab, Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Haryana, Odisha and Uttar Pradesh, but only Bhagwant Mann of the party came up trumps from Sangrur in Punjab.

The BJP was planning to conduct multiple surveys for a better selection of political issues and candidates for the Delhi Assembly, after its massive victory in the Lok Sabha polls, senior leaders of the party had said after the general election.

BJP leaders have high hopes in the upcoming Delhi polls as the party got more votes than the Congress and the AAP in 65 of the 70 Assembly segments in last year’s Lok Sabha election.

The AAP had registered its massive victory in the 2015 Delhi Assembly polls thanks to a strong support of the residents of slums and unauthorised colonies.

A large number of Purvanchalis, who account for around 35 per cent voters in the national capital and who had voted for the AAP in the previous Assembly election, live in these areas and their support will be crucial for victory in the coming polls, a senior Delhi BJP leader had said. PTI