iconimg Wednesday, April 01, 2015

Nivedita Khandekar , Hindustan Times
New Delhi, April 11, 2014
Arvind Kejriwal tweeted late at night: “My political assessment — AAP getting 6 to 7 seats in Delhi.” The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) had made a huge gamble when its Delhi government resigned in just 49 days. If voting trends across Delhi are any indicator, the gamble might just pay off. As per ground reports, the traditional Congess-BJP fight has now become a BJP-AAP contest.

The party said that people from across classes have given it a huge response though spot reports.

It said the lower economic classes have thrown their weight behind AAP and the middle-class have sent out mixed signals.

Sunder Nagari in North East Delhi, where party leaders Kejriwal and Manish Sisodia began grass-root level activism, is strongly with AAP. In South Delhi, Ankit Agrawal, an IT professional, said: “AAP had given me hope and I am willing to give them a chance despite their 49-day rule but I can’t say the same for my wife and friends.”

The party had won 28 seats in its debut election in December but the Muslim community had not given it their wholehearted support. This trend, said the party’s East Delhi candidate Rajmohan Gandhi, has completely changed.

In areas such as Okhla and Chandni Chowk, which have a sizeable Muslim presence, the response to the party has been ‘overwhelming’, said its candidate Ashutosh.

Said 22-year-old Asiya Khan, a resident of LNJP Colony in Chandni Chowk seat, “We tried both BJP and Congress but now we need to give AAP a chance.”

But then there’s the sizeable ‘disillusioned with AAP’ lot. Pushpa Thapliyal, 51, a housewife from Mayur Vihar, said, the AAP’s 49-day stint has made her feel “her old choice was better”.

Manish Sisodia, the top party leader, said: “The response has been positive throughout but the slum clusters have voted in far more numbers compared to 2013. We are hoping to win at least five seats.”