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HindustanTimes Wed,20 Aug 2014

Delhi: BJP gives itself at least three seats, AAP five

HT Correspondents, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, April 12, 2014
First Published: 01:29 IST(12/4/2014) | Last Updated: 01:33 IST(12/4/2014)

A day after Delhi came out in record numbers to elect a new government at the Centre, the three political parties – traditional rivals Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party and new entrant Aam Aadmi Party – were busy analysing their prospects on the seven Lok sabha seats in the Capital.

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More than 65% voters exercised their franchise on Thursday. The figure was last reached in 1984, 30 years ago.

Senior BJP said they had gauged the polling pattern and were confident of winning West Delhi, South Delhi and North East Delhi seats.

“The rural voters have come out in large numbers due to the Modi wave,” said a senior BJP leader. “In West Delhi, a major chunk of rural voters in Najafgarh, Dwarka and Matiala supported us due to the Modi wave and the work done by former chief minister Sahib Singh Verma. We are confident that the middle-class and Punjabi voters have supported us,” said a senior BJP leader.

The BJP’s West Delhi candidate Parvesh Verma is Sahib Singh Verma’s elder son.

The party leaders, however, admitted that the AAP wave was very strong in Delhi and young voters, the minority community and even the lower middle-class voted for them. On a few seats, the distribution of the minority votes was going to decide the fate.

“Muslim votes were split between AAP and the Congress. Depending on who got how many votes, it will decide the fate of the BJP candidate. Even in North West Delhi and East Delhi, Muslim votes will act as a defining force,” said a senior BJP leader.

The Aam Aadmi Party’s internal assessment claimed the party was likely to win five of the seven seats.

“The only two seats where we are doubtful are New Delhi and South Delhi,” sources said. In the rest five seats, the AAP claimed that it was in fight with only the BJP and set to push Congress to the third position.

“In North East Delhi and East Delhi, we are giving a tough fight to the BJP. In New Delhi, if Congress’ Ajay Maken is able to make a dent in the middle-class votes, it would spell trouble for the BJP,” the sources added.

Interestingly, the Congress fought the contest to secure the second position in Delhi, which it seemed to be losing too. Party sources said they were not in the race to win even a single seat. “We have done reasonably well on seats where Muslim votes are decisive. We managed to turn the contest into a three-cornered fight,” said a senior Congress leader.

Though the AAP claims that majority of Muslims voted for it, a low turnout in Muslim-dominated assembly segments – Okhla, Ballimaran, Matia Mahal, Mustafabad, Babarpur and Seelampur – indicated that Muslims had not voted en bloc for a change.


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