Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) is confident that people will give it a clear majority when Delhi votes on Saturday, hoping the taint of quitting power in 49 days will not cloud its promises of efficient governance.
AAP won 28 seats in the 70-member assembly, going on form a brief, minority government in 2013. But it upset people by abandoning the mandate in February 2014, losing all seven Lok Sabha seats in Delhi to BJP. The party now believes its spirited campaign has worked, and people want them back.
Done with his 100-odd public meetings that began in December, AAP leader Arvind Kejriwal began his day with a session of yoga, and visited places of worship in his constituency New Delhi.
Surrounded by only a few party activists and securitymen, Kejriwal spoke to people and let them click pictures. At gurudwara Bangla Sahib, the former CM said he was confident of a majority. “I have full faith in the almighty."
He first went to Rakab Ganj Sahib gurdwara near Parliament. He also visited a Sufi mazar (mausoleum) near Prime Minister Narendra Modi's official residence. He also prayed at the ancient Hanuman Mandir in Connaught Place before going to Sacred Heart cathedral and Kalibari.
AAP hopes to have made forays into BJP’s middle class strongholds, adding heft to its wide support base among the economically backward. AAP is also hoping for a complete decimation of Congress, resulting in further shifting of Muslim, Dalit and poor voters from the grand old party.
“The BJP juggernaut has been on a roll since the Lok Sabha election victory in May 2014. But this will not work here. People saw what we did when in power. People have also seen BJP’s neglect of Delhi in the past nine months,” said an AAP leader.
In 2013, no body really gave the debutant party much of a chance. This time some opinion polls have given it a clear majority, while a few have predicted BJP's win, when Delhi votes to have an elected government after a year of President’s Rule. Results will be announced on Tuesday.
In its manifesto, AAP has unleashing a slew of promises, making Delhi a world-class city being the prominent one. “The message we have tried to send out is clear: the focus is on governance and Kejriwal is prepared to stay if voted to power. We cannot afford to remain a bijli-paani or anti-corruption brigade,” said another AAP leader.