The people of Delhi seem to have made a clear choice — the Aam Aadmi Party (or AAP). The counting trends for Delhi Assembly polls show that AAP is returning to power convincingly, with the incumbent party leading on 57 out of 70 Assembly seats. The Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) is a distant second, with leads in 13 seats. The Congress is not leading in any seat. In 2015, AAP had won 67 seats, while BJP had won 3.
For AAP, the one seat where trends have come as a major surprise is Patparganj — this is where deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia is a candidate. According to the party’s assessment, he was expected to win by a significant margin.
Sisodia was the only senior AAP leader who, during a television debate, said he stood in support of Shaheen Bagh just like he stood in support of JNU. During BJP’s door-to-door campaign, a video of him saying this was shared with voters across the constituency, something that party insiders think harmed Sisodia’s campaign.
“Votes from the areas where AAP has the highest support have not been counted yet. We are confident we will recover,” a party leader said.
Atishi, who along with Sisodia has been credited with improving infrastructure in government schools, was also trailing in the Kalkaji seat by 172 votes at the end of seven rounds of counting.
In Okhla, under which Shaheen Bagh falls, AAP’s Amanatullah Khan — the only party leader to have been a regular at the anti-CAA protest sites in Shaheen Bagh and outside Jamia Millia Islamia — was trailing for the first two rounds but quickly made up the difference and is now leading comfortably.
While AAP had focused its campaign on its core issues of bijli-paani (electricity and water), education and health, BJP, while trying to corner AAP on these issues, made the election about nationalism and Shaheen Bagh. The party, which got around 32 per cent of the vote share in 2015, had a share of 39 per cent as several rounds of counting remain.
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So far, AAP has managed to get a 53.2 per cent vote share. The Congress has around 4 per cent.