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Wednesday 29 January 2020

Delhi to choose between AAP, BJP, INC on 8 February

The Delhi election will see a battle between the AAP that has a fiery leadership but no new ideas and a Modi-dependent, nationalist BJP

The Election Commission (EC) has announced the date of assembly election in the country’s capital Delhi. The EC held a press conference on Monday afternoon to make the announcement. With this, the code of conduct has come into force in the capital. Votes will be cast in all 70 assembly seats in Delhi on 8 February and election results will be announced on 11 February.

In the capital, the ruling party Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) once again faces the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP and the Indian National Congress (INC).

Delhi Assembly election schedule

  • Notification: 14 January, Tuesday
  • Last date for nomination: 21 January, Tuesday
  • Scrutiny: 22 January
  • Voting: 8 February
  • Results: 11 February

Chief Election Commissioner Sunil Arora said at the press conference, “There are a total of 70 assembly constituencies in the capital. The tenure of the current assembly ends on 22 February 2020.”

A meeting was held with the State Election Commission and Delhi Police regarding the election, the CEC informed. Voters will get a pick-up from homes and drop-in at the polling booths, he said. Election-related information will be uploaded on the EC website and a number for voters’ assistance will be released.

  • Total seats: 70 (58 general + 12 reserved for SC)
  • Total polling booths: 13,750
  • Number of places that will vote: 2,689
  • Staff required for election management: 90,000

Delhi voters’ demography

The assembly election in Delhi, the capital of the country but otherwise a quasi-state not with all the authority that other states enjoy, is politically important for the message the result sends all over the country. There are about 1.5 crore voters in Delhi who will decide which party will form the next ‘state’ government.

  • Total voters: 1,46,92136
  • Men: 80,55,686
  • Women: 66,35,635
  • Third gender: 815
  • NRIs: 489
  • Service voters: 11,556

Delhi election result, 2015

Who does not remember the last election result in Delhi? Riding on the popularity of a fresh Arvind Kejriwal, who might have tired a bit since then, the AAP had registered a historic victory, nearly wiping out the opposition.

In the 2015 assembly election, the AAP won 67 out of the 70 seats; BJP managed only three seats despite a nearly intact vote-share. The INC could not win even one seat.

Issues or planks

Aam Aadmi Party

The party ruling the city is claiming it has performed in the last five years. It will repeat the promise of free electricity and water, schools and mohalla clinics. Its main challenge is hitting upon a broad vision and getting beyond ideas that no longer sound refreshing as they did five years ago.

The vote-bank of the AAP is slums where populist promises work the best. Unlike 2015, the residents of unauthorised colonies or the middle class may not go the whole hog in support of Arvind Kejriwal‘s party.

Bharatiya Janata Party

In 2019, the BJP has once again won the Lok Sabha election as it had in 2014. It hopes ‘Modi magic’ will work in Delhi too. Recently, Narendra Modi government regularised unauthorised colonies in the capital, which the BJP would like to cash in on. In the 2019 election, BJP won all the seven Lok Sabha seats. However, having no candidate for the post of chief minister is a dampener. Local BJP is said to be uninspiring.

However, the Citizenship Amendment Act, National register of Citizens, Ayodhya verdict, abolishing of triple talaq, no objection to the reinterpretation of Section 377 by the Supreme Court, etc have not only consolidated the nationalist votes for the BJP but also added feminists and modernists to the club.

Indian National Congress

The INC could not push even one MLA into the assembly in 2015. In this election, it will have to try to win some seats. The party has also made some populist promises, through which it is hoping to open an account in Delhi.

A vacuum in the place of a leader is even more conspicuous in the INC than in the BJP since the death of former Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit who had ruled the capital city for a long stretch between 1998 and 2013.

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