New entrant looms large on Delhi poll eve

Aam Admi Party is giving jitters to established parties with surveys showing it would do well on December 4 vote.

    New entrant looms large on Delhi poll eve
    The Aam Aadmi Party is led by activist turned politician Arvind Kejriwal [AFP]

    The Aam Admi Party (AAP)  is giving sleepless nights to leaders of India's established parties on eve of elections to Delhi assembly

    Newcomer into India's electoral fray, the Aam Aadmi Party (Common People's party) is giving the jitters to the established ruling Congress and the opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on the eve of elections to the Delhi state assembly.

    The AAP, which is fighting the elections on an anti-corruption plank, has managed to garner massive crowd support and attract the attention of Delhi's middle-classes with its attempts to be transparent in its conduct.

    With elections to Delhi scheduled for December 4, BJP and Congress leaders have cried hoarse attempting to downplay the largely unexpected welcome the AAP has received among the electorate during electioneering.

    Opinion polls

    To back the mood, election surveys have come up with results that have all but shocked the two dominant parties. The surveys have largely forecast that the AAP will get seats in the range of 10-15 in an assembly of 70. This will make it a balancing factor and prevent either of the other two – the Congress and the BJP – from garnering a majority.

    One survey, conducted by the AAP itself, places the party in power with a majority on its own. While people may discount the survey as it is self-serving, the AAP leadership has explained how it conducted the survey and claims it went by the highest standard in doing it.

    Delhi chief minister Sheila Dixit of the Congress buttonholed by the media for her reaction to the surveys dourly repeated, "No comments". She has also gone on record to say that the Congress sees a strong pro-incumbent wave and that she views only the BJP as the opposition, not the AAP.

    The BJP has trashed the AAP and has accused it of planning to play ball with the Congress if there is a hung assembly. Senior BJP leader Arun Jaitley was quoted by the media as having said, "The loser is known (referring to the Congress). What remains to be seen is the lead BJP gets and the kind of a presence the new party (AAP) records in its maiden outing."

    Another BJP leader Sushma Swaraj termed the AAP claim of getting around 45 seats a day-dream that will be shattered.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera


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