2:35 am - Sunday January 20, 2019

Close fight between BJP and AAP in Delhi

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Close fight between BJP and AAP in Delhi
Close fight between BJP and AAP in Delhi

Counting of votes for the closely watched Delhi Assembly election, considered significant ahead of Lok Sabha polls next year, began on Sunday morning amid tight security.

The electoral fate of three-time Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit, her challengers from BJP Harsh Vardhan and Aam Admi Party Arvind Kejriwal and over 800 other candidates will be known in a few hours.The polling had taken place on December 4.

The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) Sunday said it was “sure” the BJP and Congress would try to bribe its candidates in Delhi.

Meanwhile, AAP and BJP traded charges of voter influencing. Lawyer Prashant Bhushan of AAP said: “(The) Congress, BJP were offering money to voters earlier. I am sure they will try to poach our candidates too.”

But the Bharatiya Janata Party rubbished the allegation.“AAP is not a serious contender. The BJP is (set) to form a government in Delhi on its own (strength),” its chief ministerial candidate Harsh Vardhan said.

Delhi Assembly election result is being seen as an indicator of the mood of the urban electorate ahead of the general election.

The Election Commission has made elaborate security arrangements for the counting with 20 companies of Central Paramilitary Force and Delhi police keeping a tight vigil at 14 counting centres across the city.

While BJP fielded candidates in 66 constituencies, Congress and AAP contested in all the 70 seats. BSP, the third largest party in the last assembly election, fielded candidates in 69 seats, NCP in nine and Samajwadi Party in 27 seats. A total of 224 independents were also in the fray.

The entry of Kejriwal’s AAP has changed the dimension of the election and it will be interesting to see whether the newbie will just be a “spoiler” or win some seats as predicted by opinion polls, riding on its anti—corruption plank.

The stakes in this election are high for Dikshit who mainly highlighted her achievements and development agenda during the campaigning, while Vardhan promised to cut power tariff by 30 per cent and slash vegetable prices within 30 days of coming to power.

In the run up to the polling on December 4, a high—voltage campaign was witnessed where contestants, incumbent Congress, opposition BJP and greenhorn Aam Admi Party slugged it out to woo 1.19 crore voters.

Most exit polls projected BJP to emerge as the single largest party in the 70—member Delhi assembly.

India Today—ORG survey said BJP will win 41 seats and gave Congress 20 seats and AAP just six. Times Now—C Voter Survey gave BJP 29 seats, Congress 21 and AAP 16.

ABP-Nielsen projected BJP as getting 37 seats, Congress 16 seats and AAP 15.’Today’s Chanakya’ gave 29 seats to BJP with a plus minus margin of 9 seats, 10 seats to Congress with a plus minus margin of 5 seats and a whopping 31 seats to AAP with a plus minus margin of 9 seats.

While Congress is seeking another term under Dikshit, BJP and AAP were led by their chief ministerial candidates Vardhan and Kejriwal.

The highest—ever voter turnout of 65.86 per cent was recorded as Delhiites came out in large numbers to exercise their franchise in the just—concluding election

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