Congress defeat forecast in New Delhi vote

Opinion poll by newspaper says opposition BJP to be biggest gainer, with Aam Admi Party getting 10 seats.

India's Congress party President Sonia Gandhi (R) and Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dixit (L) campaign [EPA]

A pre-poll survey of the upcoming elections in India’s New Delhi state has predicted a humiliating defeat for the ruling Congress, which could seriously dampen its prospects when India holds its general elections next year.

The survey, according to The Hindustan Times newspaper, on Thursday forecast the opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) as the single largest party with 32 of the total 70 seats.

The ruling Congress was predicted to get 25 seats and the upstart Aam Aadmi Party, or the AAP (Common People’s party) would get 10 seats.

The AAP is making its maiden entry into electoral politics. Elections to the Delhi assembly are scheduled on December 4.

The ruling Congress, which has won three elections to the Delhi assembly in a row, has been on the defensive over allegations of corruption and rise in prices.

Key elections

The AAP is contesting on the anti-corruption plank, but the BJP is expected to win on the rebound if voters desert the Congress party.

What makes it look more daunting for the Congress is that the media driven (ABP news-Dainik Bhaskar-Nielsen) opinion poll has predicted a massive defeat for Chief Minister Sheila Dixit at the hands of AAP chief Arvind Kejriwal in a New Delhi constituency.

Elections in Delhi and four other states are expected to be an indicator of what to expect when general elections to India’s lower house of parliament are held in April-May 2014.

Reacting to the polls on the NDTV news channel, Dixit downplayed the opinion polls and said she did not bother with what they said.

“We have shown what we can do in the last three elections and this time won’t be different,” she said, adding that rather than an anti-government wave benefitting the opposition BJP, a pro-government wave would bring the Congress back to power.

In the previous elections in 2008, the Congress had won 43 seats and the BJP 24 to the Delhi assembly.

Source: Al Jazeera