The 70-seat Delhi Assembly which has just finished polling on Saturday - February 8, is projected to be won by AAP, according to the Republic Jan Ki Baat Exit Polls. While the polls saw a meager 55% voter turnout, it witnessed an intense poll campaign by the three contending parties - Congress, BJP and AAP with 672 candidates in the fray. The term of the current 70-seat Assembly, where AAP holds an absolute majority, will expire on February 22.
AAP is projected to win 48-61 seats defeating the BJP which is projected to win only 9-21 seats. Meanwhile, Congress is projected to win 0-1 seat. Others are projected to win no seats.
AAP is projected to garner 51-52%of the vote share, leading over the BJP which is set to gain 38-40% of the vote share. Meanwhile, Congress is projected to gain 4-5% of the vote share. Other parties are set to garner 5% of the vote share.
Amid the nation-wide anti-CAA protests, which began from Assam and gained maximum traction in Delhi, the poll campaign by the three contending parties - Congress, BJP and AAP was intense with 672 candidates in the fray.
While AAP -which has launched mega-campaign roping in poll strategist Prashant Kishor's I-PAC for Arvind Kejriwal's re-election bid spoke on the achievements in the past five years, BJP headlong attacked the AAP and Congress for fuelling the various protests against the amended Citizenship Act (CAA), alleging communal divide among voters. Ranging from JNU and Jamia -where students were attacked to the ongoing protests at Shaheen Bagh, BJP has accused the Congress and AAP for supporting the 'Tukde Tukde' gang. Several inflammatory remarks were made by BJP leaders - Yogi Adityanath, Anurag Thakur, Parvesh Verma which have been flagged by EC.
Building on its massive common-man appeal, the AAP government offered several freebies - free electricity, water, free wifi services, free metro and bus rides for women in the run-up to the elections. Meanwhile, Congress, which is reeling from a leadership vacuum since the demise of Sheila Dikshit is eyeing a comeback at the national capital. BJP, which has not held the Delhi Assembly since 1998 is eyeing to rule at Centre and the national capital - but has not named a CM pick. AAP which had launched a Kejriwal-centric campaign, aims at crossing the total with its motto "Abki Baar 67 paar" and keeps asking 'Kejriwal v/s Who?'
Timarpur: Here, the caste equations play a key role. The seat has a significant Punjabi Sikh population. It also holds a large migrant Muslim electorate. The seat is currently occupied by AAP's Pankaj Pushkar. On the ballot here are AAP's Dilip Pandey, BJP's Surendra Singh Bittu and Congress' Amar Lata Sangwan.
Bawana: This constituency is a traditional Jat heartland of Delhi. Dalits and Jats are an important voting bloc. Purvanchalis, natives of eastern UP, form 35% electorate. Ram Chander is the current MLA from here. On the ballot here are AAP's Jai Bhagwan Upkar, BJP's Ravindra Kumar Indraj, and Congress' Surender Kumar.
Model Town : This seat is close to the Delhi University's North Campus and has a largely middle-class electorate. Candidates in the fray are AAP's Akhilesh Pati Tripathi, AAP-turned BJP leader Kapil Mishra and Congress' Akansha Ola.
Matia Mahal: This is a Muslim-dominated seat (40% of the electorate) and is currently represented by AAP strongman Asim Ahmed Khan. However, AAP this time has fielded Shoaih Ighal, BJP has Ravindra Gupta and Congress has put Mirza Javed Ali.
Ballimaran: Dalits and Muslims comprise 3/5th of the electorate. AAP's Imran Hussain is contesting for re-election and his primary challenge comes from Congress' Haroon Yusuf.
Hari Nagar: BJP's highly social-media-savvy leader Tajendra Pal Singh Bagga has made a poll debut here. Among key issues here are drinking water and garbage disposal. AAP has fielded Jagdeep Singh while Congress has put Surender Sethi.
Rajinder Nagar: A Punjabi-dominated seat, Rajinder Nagar also hosts a significant SC/ST and OBC population. Raghav Chadha, the chartered accountant-turned-politician and one of AAP's 39-star campaigners, is on the ballot here. BJP has fielded RP Singh while Congress has put Rocky Tuseed.
New Delhi:The most high profile contest where Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal is being challenged by BJP's Sunil Yada and Congress' Romesh Sabharwal
In a massive political twist, debutant Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) headed by Arvind Kejriwal - which gained fame in the Anna Hazare anti-corruption campaign, snatched Congress' bastion Delhi winning 67 seats. While BJP managed to get 3 seats, Congress was reduced to no seats. In 2013, AAP had formed a government with Congress' outside support, but Kejriwal resigned in February 2014 as he was unable to table the Jan Lokpal Bill, due to stiff opposition.