Arvind Kejriwal’s Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) is set for a hat-trick in Delhi with around 56 of 70 assembly seats after voting in the capital on Saturday.
The results of the Delhi election will be declared on Tuesday.
India Today-Axis My India’s poll says AAP will win 59 to 68 seats while the BJP will get between two and 11 seats. Times Now predicts 47 seats for AAP and 23 for the BJP. ABP News-C Voter predicts 49-63 seats for AAP and 5-19 for BJP. Republic TV-Jan Ki Baat gives AAP 48 to 61 seats and the BJP, between nine and 21 seats.
Most polls have given the Congress, which ruled Delhi for three straight terms before AAP came to power, zero to two seats.
A party needs 36 in the Delhi assembly for a majority.
AAP won a staggering 67 seats in the last election in 2015; since then the party lost one seat to the BJP in a bypoll and six of its lawmakers were disqualified.
If exit polls prove correct, Mr Kejriwal’s party is set to lose around 11 seats since its 2015 sweep.
Both the BJP and AAP called meetings after the exit polls.
The BJP, which won three seats in 2015, may have accrued benefits from a last-minute surge after a sharply polarizing campaign revolving around the Shaheen Bagh protest against the citizenship law CAA and the narrative that such protests are “anti-national” and backed by “traitors”.
This is the first election since massive protests erupted nearly two months ago over the controversial Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), which, critics say, violates India’s secular constitution and discriminates against Muslims.
Determined to score a win in the middle of nationwide protests and criticism, the BJP mounted an aggressive campaign to take Delhi back after 20 years, with its top leaders addressing multiple rallies and going on road shows and door-to-door campaigns. The party enlisted over 200 MPs, 11 chief ministers and some 50 central ministers.
Confronted with the BJP’s formidable election machinery, AAP attempted to keep its campaign focused on the development plank, telling people that it deserved another chance based on its performance.
Compared to these two parties, the Congress ran a listless campaign with hardly any rallies by its top leadership except in the final week.
In the 2015 assembly polls, the AAP won 54.3 percent of the vote, the BJP won 32 percent and the Congress managed just 9.6 percent.