AAP vote share rises and rises in Delhi

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New Delhi, Feb 8: Exit poll predictions for the Delhi elections reveal that the Aam Aadmi Party's (AAP) vote percentage has risen steadily since its maiden electoral battle in December 2013.

According to Election Commission statistics, the AAP cornered a stunning 29.64 percent of all votes in Delhi 14 months ago to win a stunning 28 of the city's 70 seats.

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This eventually led to a 49-day Congress-backed AAP government.

Although AAP leader and then chief minister Arvind Kejriwal's decision to resign in February 2014 cost the party a lot of goodwill, its vote share in the Lok Sabha election last year went up to 33.08 percent

Exit polls which after the end of voting Saturday predicted an AAP win say the party could now earn 41-43 vote percentage, indicating a clear and steady growth for it in the national capital.

It was the 2013 election when the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) won 31 seats, five seats short of a legislative majority, leading to a 49-day AAP government. The BJP got 33.07 percent of all votes.

But the BJP's vote share zoomed to 46.63 percent, or more than 13 percent over the AAP's, in the 2014 Lok Sabha election when a "Modi wave" helped it to win all seven parliamentary seats in Delhi.

Saturday's exit poll findings show the BJP's vote share may have dropped to 34-37 percent, indicating a large-scale shift of voters from that party to the AAP since the Lok Sabha battle.

The Congress was ousted from power in 2013 after 15 years but still got 24.55 percent of all votes. This dropped precariously to 15.42 percent in the Lok Sabha polls when it was routed.

The ABP News-Neilsen poll Saturday still gives the Congress 15 percent vote share while the News24-Today's Chanakya poll put it at 13 percent.

These figures, if true, would mean that even if the Congress gets routed in the Delhi election as exit polls have predicted, the desertion of voters from the Congress is far less than those from the BJP to the AAP.

Today's Chanakya also said Saturday that all major segments in Delhi -- Dalits, Banias, Brahmins, OBCs, Muslims and Punjabis -- voted more for the AAP than the BJP.

This despite the fact that BJP's chief ministerial candidate Kiran Bedi, a Punjabi, was expected to attract most Punjabi votes in a city which became home to a huge Punjabi population after India's 1947 partition.

IANS

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