A few days back, the voting process in the states of Maharashtra and Haryana were concluded, and the results were announced on October 24, 2019. As per the media reports, the voter turnout for both the states were 63% and 61% respectively. The Delhi Legislative Assembly elections are the next important elections that will take place during February 2020.
This is also an important election for all the major parties that are active in Delhi, which include the incumbent Aam Aadmi Party as well as the two major national political parties Bhartiya Janata Party and Congress. During the last election, which took place in 2015, Arvind Kejriwal-led Aam Aadmi Party formed the government with a thumping majority as they won 67 seats of the total 70 seats; BJP won the remaining three seats, and the Congress was not able to win a single seat.
If we observe the scene during that period, it was evident that there was an anti-incumbency sentiment among the people against the ruling Congress government. When AAP came into power during 2013, they fulfilled their promises regarding the electricity bills but were unable to retain power for more than 45 days. Hence, when the elections took place again in 2015, many core voters of both Congress, as well as BJP, voted for AAP—as the party’s vision of anti-corruption and development appealed to the people.
Now it’s 2019, and after a few months, the Delhi legislative elections will take place again, where AAP will be looking forward to retaining their power. The BJP and Congress will hope to improve their statistics and give a tough fight to form a government. If we observe the present scenario of elections, one thing that is unique in Delhi elections is that they are fought on real issues such as education, water supply, health services as well as infrastructure. These are the ground issues on which AAP has started to campaign for these elections; hence, the BJP, as well as Congress, are also forced to counter AAP on these grounds.
With only three to four months remaining for Delhi elections, it is still quite hard to predict who will form the government as the BJP and Congress cadres have not started to campaign yet. This is mainly because the BJP was busy with Maharashtra and Haryana elections, and there have been reports of infighting in the Congress party. Whereas, the AAP has already started campaigning by promoting their work in the field of education, healthcare, infrastructure, reducing electricity tariffs and improving water supply. Still, if BJP and Congress start campaigning, they, too, can be contenders for AAP.
As per the current opinion, AAP has performed quite well when it comes to making the electricity tariffs more affordable for the people. During their tenure, the condition of government schools improved substantially, and the party also worked towards improving healthcare services by establishing mohalla clinics providing free health care. Other steps taken by the current Delhi government include setting up CCTV cameras to improve the security situation and taking steps to reduce pollution. Out of all this, pollution is the most significant problem that people in Delhi face.
Although AAP spokesperson said that there has been a 25% reduction in pollution, the pollution levels remain critical as Delhi is surrounded by states were stubble burning takes place. Due to these reasons, the pollution level in Delhi rises, and the opposition could seek to capitalise on this issue. But again, the fact is, those states are being ruled either by the Congress or BJP, due to which the people in Delhi might develop a negative perception towards them.
There are possibilities that the BJP might pitch their contribution in the abrogation of Article 370 in Kashmir—as they did during the recent Maharashtra elections—which might appeal to the voters. AAP, too, is trying to attract the voters by pitching their work and announcing various welfare schemes. However, still, there are possibilities that the people in Delhi think that the central government does not cooperate with the AAP government on many issues.
So practically, AAP does have a good chance of forming a government due to the work they have done, but it is also possible that they might not win as many seats as they did in 2015. There are reports that the AAP government has not been able to fulfill some of the promises they made. But there’s still time, and only people’s votes can decide who will form the next government in the national capital.