New Delhi, Mar 22: The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) may not be a force to reckon with in the national politics, but when it comes to Delhi, the Arvind Kejriwal-led party is one of the major contenders. The way Delhi votes is quite interesting. In the last general elections, all seven Lok Sabha seats were won by BJP. The very next in the assembly elections, AAP won 67 out of the 70 seats and formed a government in the national capital.
This shows that Delhi voters are conscious and clear whom they want in the Centre and whom to govern the city. Was this a one-off phenomenon, or is this the way Delhi would continue to vote is something that only the time will tell. While there's a general acceptance that the AAP government has done good work - especially in primary education in Delhi schools, and in implementing regular water and electricity supply, there are some complaints and people do feel that the AAP government has not met all the promises yet.
Soon after Arvind Kejriwal formed a government in the national capital after winning elections with a thumping majority in 2015, he spoke to several channels, and when asked about stark difference in the way people voted for assembly and general elections, the CM had said, "People know clearly that they want Modi in Centre and AAP in Delhi. They are clear about it."
But will this happen this time around? We spoke to some residents of Delhi about AAP pushing the Congress for an alliance, and finally deciding to go alone after Shiela Dikshit said a firm "No".
Alok Paul, a Delhi resident, told OneIndia that the very move by the AAP to seek an alliance from Congress has dented its image.
"AAP will lose it's support base further because the only reason people picked them at first place was there anti-corruption motto which after seeking an alliance with Congress will fade away...Kejriwal looks like losing his mind every time during Lok Sabha elections, he should have learned few lessons from last Lok Sabha results ...BJP will have an edge I believe if Congress ties up with AAP in Delhi," he said.
The AAP on March 19 shut the door on the alliance with Congress that had lately seemed to consider the idea again. "There will be no alliance with the Congress in Delhi," AAP leader Gopal Rai said.
"Talks are still on and I think they'll go into an alliance. Chances are very dim with or without alliance for both Congress and AAP in Delhi," Paul further said.
Bhupesh Bisht told OneIndia that may be a tie-up of Congress and AAP may help to thwart the BJP in Lok Sabha polls in the national capital.
"I believe alliance will help beat BJP and currently that's the whole story in India. Also, I hope BJP wins the social media battle. I feel they are already ahead in the social media campaigning. But the core voter which doesn't use social media will think otherwise. Outer Delhi might give an edge to AAP, I still feel," he said.
"Aana toh Modi ne hi hai (Modi will come to power)," said Rakesh Gulati, an IT professional, to OneIndia. "Some say there is no Modi wave, it is there. Modi is popular among the working class. Those who understand things he has done for the countries, will vote for him," he added.
Vishal Verma, a Delhi resident, said, "Allying with Congress is the only way AAP can stop the BJP from sweeping Delhi. Even then it would be difficult to stop, Delhi voter is very clear who he want in Delhi, and who can do good for India."
"I feel BJP will sweep Delhi. Kejriwal has lost his credibility by siding with others. His main USP was that AAP is different from other parties. Now by showing desperation for alliance and hobnobbing with other parties, even he is just another politician. Where is the difference," said Gaurav, an IT professional.
We also spoke to several people off the record in Delhi. Some opined that the strong support in Delhi is for Modi and not for the BJP, so to speak. Delhi's autowallahs were one of AAP's earliest and most loyal support bases, but now that support is not as strong as it was in 2015.
The BJP won all seven 2014 Lok Sabha elections in Delhi with 46.40 percent vote share, while the Aam Aadmi Party stood second with 32.90 percent vote share. The Congress was a distant third (15.10 percent vote share). In the Delhi assembly elections 2015, AAP swept -- winning 67 of the 70 seats (54.3 percent vote share). The BJP won just three seats with 32.3% vote share, and the Congress failed to win a single seat (9.7% vote share).