NEW DELHI, 29 June-2014, IANS: AAP chief Arvind Kejriwal on Sunday said the BJP was…
Counting of votes for the high-profile Delhi Assembly polls in which BJP and AAP are locked in a direct fight began on Tuesday Morning amid tight security. The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), which is confident of its win in the Delhi Assembly polls, said this will be a victory of honesty and defeat of opportunists.
Delhi Election Commission has made elaborate arrangements for counting of the ballots which is taking place in 14 Centres across the city under tight security. Five out of seven exit polls have predicted that the Arvind Kejriwal-led AAP may return to power once again in the national capital, with the second place for the BJP. The Congress, which ruled Delhi for 15 years, has been placed at a distant third.
AAP takes lead on 45 seats, BJP chief ministerial candidate trailing
Congress candidate Ajay Maken trailing by 3436 votes from Sadar Bazar
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Congress leading on 5 seats | BJP on 11 seats | AAP on 25 seats
Delhi Polls Live: AAP establishes clear lead over BJP
Let the result come out, will speak then, says Congress’ Ajay Maken
Initial trends suggest neck and neck fight between AAP and BJP
AAP candidate Somnath Bharti, Manish Sisodia leading.
Sharmishtha Mukherjee of Congress trailing, BSP candidate leading in Greater Kailash
Jagdish Mukhi of BJP leads in Janakpuri, Rakhi Birla of AAP in Mangolpuri
PM Narendra Modi’s statements didn’t go well with people: Kumar Vishwas
Sweet distribution begins outside Kiran Bedi’s residence
Congress headquarters in Delhi
Counting of votes begins; will exit polls come true?
Preparations for Delhi Assembly election results at BJP office
Do pray. Prayers are very powerful, tweets Arvind Kejriwal
We will win today, says AAP leader Kumar Vishwas
Outside Arvind Kejriwal’s home in Kaushambi, a tiny supporter
The Congress, which had ruled Delhi for 15 years till December, 2013 has been projected to get at most five seats.
The Burari constituency in North Delhi has a maximum of 18 candidates while the Ambedkar Nagar seat in South Delhi has the lowest number of contenders at four. There are 63 contesting women candidates in this election as against 71 in 2013.
The assembly election, held for the second time in little over one year, has been largely a direct contest between BJP and a resurgent AAP which has put up a tough fight under Arvind Kejriwal’s leadership.
The number of candidates from recognised national and state parties is 296 while 183 candidates belong to registered parties and there are 194 Independent nominees.
The results are out and it’s clear that Delhi has spoken emphatically. The party which was humiliated in the last LokSabha election has made a stellar comeback winning close to 60 seats in the Assembly Election.
The Strategic approach:
By fine tuning their strategy AAP decided to concentrate only on reconquering their citadel of Delhi. In the process they let go of contesting elections in states like Haryana and Maharashtra, where AAP had some footprints. The strategy ensured that AAP leaders and workers had their ears close to the ground, which was necessary to defeat a cadre-based party like BJP.
The social media coup:
BJP has always been strong on social media. Call it Internet Hindu phenomenon or nationalist users, they managed to create a positive vibe for the party during the Lok Sabha Elections. AAP changed this strategy at their head by countering all charges and being up front about their flaws. As Marshall Mcluhan said, Medium is the message. AAP managed to take to social media the message that the party is willing to engage voters and eager for a second chance when things were looking particularly bleak for them.
Massive connect with the underclass
This is a corollary of the close connect AAP established with the masses. In their 49 days, AAP promised a lot and was marginally successfully in solving the problems of power and water. From February, the situation has only gone worse in those fronts and AAP’s more than gratitous promise of freebies has certainly struck a chord with the poor. Also AAP played up the issue of e-rickshaw and legalisation of colonies to the hilt.BJP was caught napping in these issues and the ordinances came much later.
The middle class forgave AAP
A point widely made, many politicians commit gaffe but hardly anyone apologises. Kejriwal profusely said sorry for quitting the government in 49 days. For many young middle class voters AAP became synonymous to a start-up which suffered a hitch in the beginning but deserved another chance.
Insipid leadership of Delhi BJP leaders
It’s not for anything that BJP has been away from power in Delhi for such a long time. The old guards have faded away, and the new guard haven’t been able to provide much cogent leadership. Hence BJP was forced to rope in Kiran Bedi, a strategy which backfired magnificently. Not only it was a bummer for the party leaders like Satish Upadhyay, it also gave a negative vibe to the party cadres who felt that the leadership has imported someone from outside to fight its own battle. AAP on the other hand had massive surge due to Kejriwal’s inspired leadership.
Polarisation favoured AAP
This may sound counter-intuitive but as the margins and figures suggested by Chanakya, AAP actually gained from polarisation. Many Christians who voted for BJP in the Lok Sabha election decided to switch loyality to AAP. The Church burning and riots in Trilokpuri, sort of created negative perception about BJP in Delhi.
Modi for PM, Kejriwal for CM
This was something told by AAP voters long ago. They backed Modi to give stability in the centre but Kejriwal was the preferred choice in Delhi. This was something BJP was always wary of, but had no counter to. Kiran Bedi turned out to be a bad choice for CM candidate who gave no leverage to the saffron party.
Kejriwal won perception war
‘Mufflerman’ Kejriwal became the quintessential middle class hero while ‘Pradhansevak’ Modi strutted around in a very expensive ‘name suit’. Politics is very often a matter of perception more than reality, and Kejriwal has won the battle hands down this time around.