BJP banking on good show by Congress in Delhi polls. Here’s why
The Congress faces a tough challenge of getting back its vote base from the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) in the February 8 Assembly elections in Delhi.
While the support base of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has remained consistent, the AAP had taken away a large chunk of Congress voters in the last Assembly elections.
In 2015, the Congress vote had completely shifted to the AAP as a result of which the grand old party even failed to open its account in the city-state that it had ruled for 15 consecutive years since 1998.
Both AAP and Congress fight for the same vote base and that is why the primary opponent of the grand old party is Arvind Kejriwal’s party and not the BJP.
But the AAP in the last 5-6 years has also developed a well-oiled election machine as compared to the Congress which is for long battling internal power struggles and personal ambitions of senior leaders in Delhi. Many of its leaders had apparently refused to contest the elections on one pretext or the other.
The BJP, on the other hand, is banking on a good show by the Congress to upset the AAP applecart. BJP leaders privately argue that a rise in the Congress vote will bring down the AAP’s share.
In the 2013 elections, the AAP won 28 seats out of 70 and got 29.49 per cent vote share. In 2015, it bagged 67 seats and secured 54.3 per cent vote share.
The Congress had won eight seats and a vote share of 24.55 per cent in 2013 but that fell drastically to 9.8 per cent in 2015.
In 2013, the BJP had won 31 seats and secured a vote share of 33.07 per cent. It reduced by about just one per cent in 2015 and stood at 32.1 per cent but the party barely managed to win three seats.
The Congress this time is hopeful of improving its seat tally and the vote share. One reason for this confidence is that the party feels that its aggressive stance on the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and the National Register of Citizens (NRC) has gone down well with Muslim voters and hence could win their support.
The Congress has also tied up with the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) in a bid to tap the Bihari voters who could influence the outcome in at least 4-5 seats.
The party has also drawn up an elaborate list of its campaigners. Congress leaders are hoping that party chief Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra will campaign in Delhi. Besides, the party has also named Navjot Singh Sidhu, Khushboo Sundar and Nagma Morarji to pep up its campaign.