The Delhi Assembly poll results have been announced today and the AAP is now set for a third term in power in Delhi Assembly. While the results are being largely seen as a vindication of AAP’s intense election campaign, wannabe analysts seem to be missing out on a major factor, the tacit alliance between the Congress and the Kejriwal led AAP.
A close look at the vote share of the Congress according to the Election Commission data at the time of writing this story reveals that Congress mustered a vote share of merely 4.25 per cent, declining further from its 9.7 per cent vote share in the 2015 Elections.
While the BJP has gained ground in Delhi with 38.76 per cent, a significant rise of more than 6 per cent over and its vote share in 2015 Assembly polls. The AAP has maintained a vote share of 53.54 per cent vote share.
The AAP has clearly benefitted from the manner in which the Congress has conceded its vote share in favour of the incumbent ruling party in Delhi.
The AAP and Congress were not in a formal coalition in Delhi, but both had similar political objects and pre-poll agenda in Delhi. Support for Shaheen Bagh protests and anti-CAA violence were at the core of the election campaign of both parties. In this sense, both seem to have met their desired goals by obstructing BJP’s rise in the National Capital.
The Kejriwal led party has also won from the Okhla constituency, in which Shaheen Bagh is situated. The Congress seems to have given up completely in the constituency, losing by a massive 90,000 votes. This manifests a larger trend of the Congress conceding its Muslim vote base in the triangular contest so that the BJP cannot benefit from two-way division of votes between AAP and the Congress.
Even in Seelampur, another constituency which had borne the brunt of anti-CAA violence, AAP candidate Abdul Rehman who had also been booked for instigating violence has secured a major victory. Interestingly, the BJP has secured the second position in the constituency, showing how the Congress relented completely.
In fact, AAP has secured a major chunk of vote share in all Muslim dominated constituencies in the National Capital.
In Okhla, it has secured 81.64 per cent vote share, in Matia Mahal too it has grabbed 76.05 per cent of the total votes cast. Similarly, in Chandni Chowk, it has clocked a vote share of 66.94 per cent, while in Babarpur, the Kejriwal led party got 65.26 per cent of the total votes. Among other such constituencies, the AAP secured 64.65 per cent of the votes in Ballimaran, in Seelampur it has secured 56.1 per cent of the total votes and in Mustafabad too it has managed 53.47 vote share.
There has been a clear polarization of the Muslim votes in favour of the AAP following the anti CAA violence, and Congress seems to have assisted it with its unusually lukewarm poll campaign. The grand old party’s core Muslim voter base has also gone in AAP’s favour.
In 67 of the seats, the Congress has lost its deposit and seems to have virtually given up the fight. This comes after former Delhi CM, Sheila Dixit’s demise last year. Congress was nowhere to be seen during the Delhi poll campaign. It did not even make an attempt to project the legacy of Dixit who had served as the Delhi CM for 15 long years from 1998 to 2013.
It is a largely accepted perception that Sheila Dixit had lost in 2013 due to the massive criticism that the Congress was drawing at that time on account of graft allegations against the UPA government. Her downfall in Delhi did not have much to do with her own track record. Had the Congress tried to bring up her political legacy, it would have generated a sympathy wave in its favour. But the Congress simply backed out from launching a serious campaign in Delhi.
What further reveals the possibility of a covert alliance between the Congress and the AAP is the manner in which the grand old party’s motormouth, Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury has given a jubilant statement about the poll results.
In his tirade against the BJP, Chowdhury seemed to be more happy about AAP’s victory than Congress’ apparent defeat as his party drew a blank in Delhi once again.
Congress’ surprisingly timid, unimpressive campaign followed by Chowdhury’s statement virtually rejoicing the AAP victory point out towards a clear chain of circumstances. And the immediate conclusion seems to be a covert AAP-Congress alliance in Delhi, the smartest of its kind across the country.