New Delhi: Delhi’s governing Aam Aadmi Party (Common Man’s Party or AAP) is on course for a big win in the assembly elections, according to early poll results.The AAP is leading with more than 60 seats while Prime Minister Narendra Modi‘s Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is trailing with less than 10 seats in the 70-member assembly.
“Dilliwalo [residents of Delhi], I love you,” said AAP leader Arvind Kejriwal addressing party workers in New Delhi. He called the verdict a “win for Bharat Mata (Mother India)”.
The results show the BJP’s divisive campaigning did not seem to pay off, as voters opted for incumbent Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s pro-poor policies.
“The Delhi result is extremely important because it signals a defeat of the politics of polarisation and division that BJP unleashed here,” political analyst Zoya Hasan told Al Jazeera.
“This election was perhaps the most hate-filled election in India’s electoral history. The Delhi voter has given a very good message to the country that hate politics doesn’t work …” said Hasan, who is also Professor Emeritus at Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU).
“I hope the BJP will learn a lesson and shouldn’t repeat this kind of blatant hate politics in other states that are going to elections in the next two years.”
Exit polls released on Saturday projected the AAP, led by Kejriwal, winning more than 50 seats. In the last elections held in 2015, the incumbent party won 67 out of 70 seats.
Nearly 61 percent of the capital’s 14.7 million voters cast their ballots on Saturday in elections believed to be a litmus test for Modi in the wake of deadly anti-government protests that erupted nearly two months ago.
Neha Tyagi, vice president of AAP’s women wing, said: “We were expecting a win, but the way it is trending we are happy.”
“People have voted for the development work that AAP has been able to deliver in the last tenure,” she told Al Jazeera.