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Home / Assembly Elections / As BJP waits for ‘exact poll results’, AAP is upbeat and cautious

As BJP waits for ‘exact poll results’, AAP is upbeat and cautious

The five exit polls projected AAP’s win by a two-thirds majority as the predictions differed only in terms of the margin of victory.

assembly-elections Updated: Feb 09, 2020 14:49 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
The exit polls predicted chief minister Arvind Kejriwal-led AAP is expected to win anything between 47 seats to 68 seats in the assembly of 70 members
The exit polls predicted chief minister Arvind Kejriwal-led AAP is expected to win anything between 47 seats to 68 seats in the assembly of 70 members(Sanchit Khanna/HT PHOTO)

All exit polls on Saturday were unanimous in their prediction that Arvind Kejriwal’s Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) is all set to romp home with a second consecutive victory, prompting words of caution and triggering confidence from political leaders.

The five exit polls projected AAP’s win by a two-thirds majority as the predictions differed only in terms of the margin of victory.

The exit polls predicted chief minister Arvind Kejriwal-led AAP is expected to win anything between 47 seats to 68 seats in the assembly of 70 members.

 Also Watch | Exit polls predict AAP’s comeback, BJP asks to wait till result day

Most polls expected the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) to improve its performance from the last assembly elections in 2015, when it won just three seats.

All the five exit polls predicted little will change for the Congress, which was in power between 1998 and 2013 but drew a blank in the last assembly polls in 2015.

The Congress, they suggested, would come a distant third — either failing to secure any seat, according to two polls, or, at best, winning three seats (ABP News-CVoter).

The numbers

The India Today-Axis poll showed that the AAP would win anywhere between 59 and 68 seats, and gave the BJP between two to 11 seats. The Congress would not win any seat, the poll said.

According to its regional break-up of the city, the AAP got 9-10 seats in east Delhi, 9-10 in south Delhi, 9-10 seats in New Delhi, 7-9 seats in north-east Delhi, 9-10 seats in Chandni Chowk, 7-9 in north-west Delhi, and 9-10 seats in west Delhi.

Among other surveys, the ABP-C Voter poll gave 49-63 seats to AAP and 5-19 seats to the BJP; the Republic-Jan ki Baat poll gave AAP 48-61 seats and BJP 9-21; the Times Now-Ipsos poll gave AAP 47 and BJP 23 seats, and the News X-Neta poll gave 53-57 seats to AAP and 11-17 seats to the BJP.

What they did

Leaders of the AAP and BJP went into a huddle in the evening after the exit poll prediction to assess and plan ways out for the next two days till results are declared on February 11.

Kejriwal held a meeting with political campaign strategist Prashant Kishor and party leaders Sanjay Singh and Manish Sisodia to analyse the party’s constituency-wise performance and its preparedness for counting day.

The AAP has deployed about 150 volunteers to ensure the safety of the EVMs, which are kept in 30 strong rooms across the city.

“In Babarpur constituency, we found an officer had wrongly kept an EVM with him. We are going to complain to the election commission. To ensure there is no malpractice, we are deputing all our candidates and sitting MLAs to man each and every strong room in Delhi,” said Sanjay Singh, AAP senior leader and Rajya Sabha MP.

BJP chief JP Nadda also called a meeting of all seven members of Parliament from Delhi and senior party leaders.

Delhi election in-charge and Union ministers Prakash Javadekar, Hardeep Singh Puri, Nityanand Rai, BJP organisational general secretary BL Santhosh and Delhi BJP chief Manoj Tiwari attended the meeting.

Congress also went into a huddle to discuss its strategy and plan the party’s future course.

Who said what

Almost all BJP leaders rejected the exit polls.

The first to do so was the president of the BJP’s Delhi unit, Manoj Tiwari who said exit poll results would be proven wrong.

“All exit polls will fall flat. Save this tweet of mine. The BJP will form the government in Delhi by winning 48 seats. Kindly do not blame the EVMs {electronic voting machines} and look for alternate excuses.” Tiwari tweeted in Hindi.

Earlier in the day, Tiwari talked about “his sixth sense” that told him that the BJP would edge out Kejriwal and form the government with “at least 50 seats”.

He later said his party will 48 seats in the 70-member assembly.

Union minister Prakash Javadekar said his party will wait for the “exact polls” and stressed that the BJP will come to power.

“There will be a huge difference in exit polls and the final results. We will wait for exact polls. Exit polls had failed in May elections (17th Lok Sabha polls) as well,” Javadekar was quoted as saying by ANI.

“We have seen ground reality and we have got a good response. We will come into power on February 11,” he added.

Shyam Jaju, Delhi BJP in-charge, also said the same thing.

“Exit polls have proved to be wrong in the past. This time, too, the result will surprise everyone,” he said.

BJP leader Meenakshi Lekhi too expressed confidence her party will perform well and also claimed that Arvind Kejriwal will not retain his assembly seat.

“Exit polls have taken the analysis of two booths per assembly constituency. This analysis is based just on 0.12 or 0.15% considering that there are over 13,000 booths. Second, this analysis is based till 4 or 5pm after which 11 to 15% votes have been polled,” she said, according to ANI.

“So, we think that our voter comes out of home after lunch. So, these exit polls do not include that 11-15 per cent votes,” she said.

Lekhi also pointed out to the exit polls during the 2019 Lok Sabha polls.

“Exit polls are not the exact poll. I want to give an example that in 2019 the exit polls were giving 220 seats to the NDA whereas the BJP alone won 303 seats. I am sure the BJP will perform well,” she said.

Several other BJP leaders have also rejected the exit polls.

Deputy chief minister and senior AAP leader Manish Sisodia congratulated all AAP workers for their hard work, and said the election is a “proof” of “our strong and selfless relationship”.

“Voting ended! Hearty congratulations to all the activists. All worked from early morning to late night and some worked for 24 hours in the last days This election is proof of how selfless and strong our relationship is. We are winning by a huge margin,” Sisodia tweeted in Hindi.

Congress party’s national spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala said that exit polls are only indicators, and there are several instances where these have “horribly gone wrong”.

“In Haryana, one exit poll was giving us two seats but we ended up winning 31 seats there. You can never truly know what the voter is thinking,” he said.

Delhi Congress chief Subhash Chopra said, “All exit polls are going to fail. BJP will not get even 20 seats and Kejriwal is not going to form a govt in Delhi. I’m hoping Congress is going to do much better than what exit polls are showing. Let us wait till the results are out.”

To counting day now

The Election Commission said the turnout was 61.7%—a provisional figure subject to change when the final figures will be released on Sunday. In the last assembly polls, there was a voter turnout of 67%.

The votes will be counted on February 11 when it will be clear whether the AAP can repeat its landslide victory in 2015 when it bagged 67 seats in the 70-member House.

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