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Mon, 30 Mar 2020

Northeast Today

ELECTION IN DELHI

ELECTION IN DELHI
February 22
12:19 2020

Kishor Kumar Kalita

The upcoming Legislative Assembly Election in Delhi scheduled to be held on 8 February 2020 to elect 70 members has now became the chief attraction in all round of political sphere of this country. The electoral battle for Delhi’s throne, whose outcome on 11 February in most likelihood, is between the ruling Aam Admi Party (AAP), the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Congress. In the last legislative election held in 2015 the ruling AAP that had  reduced the saffron outfit even in the backdrop of the historic victory of Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections to mere three seats in a 70-member strong Delhi assembly and had eliminated the Congress’s presence in the legislative assembly. The AAP, which had secured 29 per cent vote share in 2013 assembly elections and had increased it to 33 per cent in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, increased its share of popular votes to 54 per cent in the last Assembly election . It increased its number of seats to 67 from the 28 that it had won in 2013. Surprisingly ,the AAP’s vote share fell down from 54 percent in 2015 assembly elections to 18.11 percent in 2019 Lok Sabha election.

For ruling BJP, which has won all the seven Lok Sabha seats in Delhi in both elections held in 2014 and 2019, however, failed to capture power in 2013 and 2015 Delhi Assembly elections. Such setback occurred in a time when Modi wave was generating groundswell in  favour  of  the  BJP.  In the light of the recently held state assembly elections after the Lok Sabha poll of April-May 2019, the BJP despite its massive victory and return to power of Prime Minister Narendra Modi has not been faring well and its vote share has fallen down sharply establishing a trend that electoral behaviour in state and national elections is different. It lost power in Jharkhand and its vote share in Haryana and Maharashtra came down. The Congress party, which till the last assembly elections in 2013 had ruled Delhi for 15 years, failed to open its account in 2015 assembly election as its vote share shrunk to 9.7 per cent from about 25 per cent.

Although nation wide 2the current ruling Kejriwal government may have suffered from anti- incumbency, yet almost all pre-poll surveys are predicting the return to power of the AAP. Surveys too indicate that  Kejriwal  is  taking  his  AAP to power for the second time, but with reduced strength in Delhi Assembly. The AAP is officially aiming to win more than 67 (its 2015 tally) of 70 seats in Delhi Assembly election. According to IANS-Voter Delhi poll tracker, ruling Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) is all set to sweep back to power in the Delhi Assembly elections. They predict that AAP is all set to win 59 seats, while the BJP, which is a distant second, is tipped to get just eight seats. The Congress is predicted to get three seats in the Delhi assembly elections. While poll-survey have often proved wrong but in the case of the AAP, they seem closer to prevailing ground realities. The AAP leadership is depending upon its pro- people work in health and education sector. By opening Mohalla clinics, providing free electricity and free clean drinking water particularly to weaker sections, constructing concrete roads in JJ cluster colonies and raising educational standard of government schools making them efficient and competitive, Kejriwal has consolidated his constituency and retained his popularity among them. Moreover Kejriwal has also changed his stringent position from a persistent critique of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to a moderate one considering the need to attract popularity in his state where BJP has retained almost all sets in last parliamentary election. Kejriwal has chosen to project himself being seen supporting some of the steps of the Modi government like the decision to scrap Article 370 that gave erstwhile state of J&K special status and bifurcating the state into two union territories. He does not appear any more to be in conflict with the central government having sent his strident demand of full statehood to Delhi.

On the other side, the BJP is quite confident that Modi’s appeal and the central government’s decisions to end Triple Talaq, amending Citizenship Act and projects like National Register for Citizens or scrapping of Article 370 are going to get some bonus votes to the party candidates. Battle for the Congress is an uphill task and its prospects appear to be bleak because of lack of an established leadership  in  Delhi.  But still the chances to retain power for AAP is much more probable considering the Aam Adami Party’s initiatives to develop certain social services rapidly that makes a very transparent difference between the AAP and other previous governments. In 2018–19 budget, AAP allocated 26% of the total budget to the education. Even   in 2017–18, it has allocated a quarter of the total budget for education. Moreover the Kejriwal Government has remodelled the government schools by improving infrastructure and providing private -level facilities as a result of which now the public of Delhi prefers government schools for educating their children. AAP last year introduced doorstep registration  and  delivery  of 40 services that include applying for Driving License, marriage certificate,  birth  certificate etc. Furthermore free water and cheap electricity facility provided by the Kejriwal Government during his tenure may become the single factor for which the public of Delhi possibly will give their mandate in favour of AAP.

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