BJP likely to grab five to seven seats in Delhi, suggest exit polls

Pollsters predict AAP and Congress will win between zero and one seat each

May 20, 2019 01:20 am | Updated 09:53 am IST - NEW DELHI

Narendra Modi, India's prime minister, gestures while speaking during a rally at Ramleela Ground in New Delhi, India, on Wednesday, May 8, 2019. Modi's government, which has been criticized for failing to create enough jobs and reduce distress in the agriculture sector, has been trying to weave its narrative around the prime minister's "strong and decisive" action in tackling security issues. Photographer: Anindito Mukherjee/Bloomberg

Narendra Modi, India's prime minister, gestures while speaking during a rally at Ramleela Ground in New Delhi, India, on Wednesday, May 8, 2019. Modi's government, which has been criticized for failing to create enough jobs and reduce distress in the agriculture sector, has been trying to weave its narrative around the prime minister's "strong and decisive" action in tackling security issues. Photographer: Anindito Mukherjee/Bloomberg

Exit polls released on Sunday evening after the last phase of the Lok Sabha election gave the BJP between five to seven seats in Delhi. AAP and the Congress, the pollsters predict, may get between zero and one seat each. Delhi has seven Lok Sabha seats.

Exit polls are only indicators and pollsters have often got it wrong but a majority of the exit polls have the BJP making a clean sweep in the city, as it did in 2014.

The ABP-CSDS exit poll gave the BJP five seats and one each to Congress and AAP, while Times Now-VMR and India Today-Axis gave the BJP six seats, and one to the Congress.

The Republic-Jan Ki Baat exit poll gave the BJP six to seven seats, adding that AAP will win zero or just one seat. Republic CVoter gave the BJP all the seven seats in Delhi.

News 18-IPSOS exit poll gave the BJP between six and seven and the Congress zero or one at the most.

If the exit poll results are anything to go by, the triangular contest has cost AAP and the Congress as the non-BJP votes were split between the two parties. The two parties were looking to forge an alliance keeping in mind the vote share in the 2017 municipal elections in which Congress had 21% and AAP had 26% of the vote share giving them a combined advantage.

Blame game

The two parties, however, blame each other for failing to see the alliance through.

Congress president Rahul Gandhi in a public rally said that his party and AAP had come to an agreement over a 3-4 seat share but Mr. Kejriwal then took a “U-turn” and insisted that alliances in Haryana and Punjab also be made a part of the deal.

AAP, in turn, accused the Congress of not being serious enough about defeating the BJP, alleging that the party was not willing to widen the alliance beyond the seven seats in Delhi.

Following the elections, Mr. Kejriwal, in an interview to a national daily, said that that votes from the Muslim community “shifted” to Congress “at the last minute” and that his party was in the process of getting to the bottom as to why that had occurred.

The election saw the BJP replace two of its sitting MPs — Udit Raj and Mahesh Giri — with singer Hansraj Hans and cricketer Gautam Gambhir.

Mr. Raj left the party immediately after he was denied a ticket, to join the Congress.

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