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India: Exit poll shows loss for Modi's party in Delhi

India: Exit poll shows loss for Modi's party in Delhi
In Saturday's assembly election, exit polls predict main opposition BJP's 'polarization efforts' failed to win voters

By Shuriah Niazi

NEW DELHI (AA) - The incumbent Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) is all set to sweep polls Saturday in the assembly election in India’s national capital city of Delhi, according to exit polls.

The exit polls conducted by different TV channels have given clear majority to the AAP, led by Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, while the main opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) would stand second.

The counting of votes will be taken up on Feb. 11 and the result will be also declared on the same day.

The polls are believed to the first test for Prime Minister Narendra Modi as the election in Delhi were the first after protests erupted in India over the recently-enacted citizenship law.

Most of the exit polls show that the AAP might win around 52 seats in a 70-member state assembly. The BJP could gain 17 seats and the Congress may get just one seat.

The exit poll predictions indicate that the efforts by the BJP to polarize voters on communal lines failed.

The protests against citizenship law had become an important plank for political parties ahead of assembly elections in Delhi.

Since Dec. 15, last year when the Indian parliament adopted the controversial citizenship law, a South Delhi locality of Shaheen Bagh has become a focal point for protesters.

The crowd, led by women, gathered to protest police action against students of nearby Jamia Millia Islamia, a central university, who were protesting against the citizenship law. But they continued sit-in and occupied a road linking Delhi with the neighboring province of Uttar Pradesh (UP).

The new law guarantees citizenship to non-Muslim religious minorities escaping persecution in three neighboring countries -- Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh. Critics see the new law as unconstitutional and discriminating against Muslims.

Launched just six years ago, the AAP was banking on localized issues, reminding voters its achievements on introducing efficient garbage collection, reducing electricity bills, providing medical treatment and drinking water, while the BJP was angrily attacking anti-citizenship law protests.

The AAP is hoping to repeat its performance of the last assembly elections when it won 67 of the 70 seats. The BJP won just three, while the Congress failed to open its account.

In the 2015 polls, the AAP gained 54.3% of votes, while the BJP secured 32% and the Congress bagged just 9.6%.

source: News Feed
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