Lok Sabha Election 2019 in Delhi: BJP will be direct beneficiary of a three corner contest in Delhi as the combined vote share of Aam Admi Party (AAP)and the Congress was more than that of BJP in 6 of 7 Lok Sabha seats in Delhi in 2014 general elections.
Lok Sabha Election in Delhi: After a protracted negotiations and parleys, both the Congress and Aam Admi Party could not forge a pre-poll alliance in Delhi, making it a three corner contest between BJP, AAP and the Congress. Ending the speculations, Aam Admi Party leader Arvind Kejriwal announced in Vishakhapatnam on Monday that Congress President Rahul Gandhi has said no to a pre-poll alliance with his party in Delhi. BJP which swept all 7 seats in 2014 Lok Sabha election due to Modi wave is set to gain from this development.
In this Lok Sabha election, it is difficult for the BJP to repeat its performance as the party was brought down to the dust by Aam Admi Party in 2015 Delhi Vidhan Sabha elections as AAP won 67 of total 70 assembly seats.
The BJP which was mulling to replace several sitting MPs from Delhi to beat the anti-incumbency factor can now hope to take advantage of division of anti-BJP votes between the Aam Admi Party and the Congress.
In 2014 Lok Sabha elections, BJP won 46.40% popular votes followed by Aam Admi Party which got 32.90% and the Congress was a distant third with 15.10%.
As a whole, the combined vote share of Aam Admi Party and the Congress was 48%, which is 1.6% more than that of BJP.
Though all seven sitting MPs of the Congress party had lost their seats in Delhi to their BJP opponents in Modi wave in 2014, the combined vote share of Aam Admi Party and the Congress was more than that of BJP in 6 of total 7 Lok Sabha seats in Delhi.
Only BJP candidate that polled more popular votes than the combined votes polled by both AAP and Congress candidate was Parvesh Sahib Singh Verma from West Delhi constituency. Son of Delhi’s farmer chief minister Sahib Singh Verma, Parvesh was the only BJP candidate that secured 48.32% popular votes against 42.74% votes jointly polled by Aam Admi Party’s Jarnail Singh and veteran Congress MP Mahabal Mishra in West Delhi Lok Sabha seat.
In six other Lok Sabha constituencies: Chandni Chowk, New Delhi, East Delhi, North East Delhi, North West Delhi and South Delhi, the combined votes share of Aam Admi Party and the Congress was enough to beat BJP candidates even in an unprecedented wave in favor of Narendra Modi.
In 2019 Lok Sabha elections, in absence of a strong wave in favor of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the BJP’s vote share is expected to come down due to anti-incumbency against its sitting MPs.
The Congress which suffered a massive defeat in 2014 Lok Sabha elections at the hands of BJP is hoping to regain some of the lost ground in Delhi Lok Sabha elections. 2014 Lok Sabha elections saw the Congress Party’s vote share coming down from over 57% in 2009 to just 15% five years later, a massive loss of 42%.
The Congress party, which has suffered another massive setback in Delhi assembly elections held a year later in 2015 as its vote share came down from 24.6% in 2013 to 9.7% two years later, was able to bounce back in Delhi Municipal Council Elections held in 2017. The Congress which lost 15% popular votes between 2013 and 2015 Delhi Assembly elections to come down to below 10%, improved its tally to over 21% in 2017 MCD elections.
The combined vote share of Aam Admi Party (AAP) and the Congress in Delhi Municipal Council (MCD) election in 2017 was more than that of BJP. While Aam Admi Party won just 26.04% popular votes against its peak performance of over 54% votes in 2015 assembly elections, the Congress was able to bag 21.28% popular votes. The combined vote share of the Aam Admi Party and the Congress was 47.32%, an advantage of 11.24% over 36.08% votes polled by the BJP in 2017 MCD elections.
Leadership of both the Congress and Aam Admi Party was well aware that the combined vote share of their parties will defeat most of the BJP candidates in Delhi Lok Sabha elections. However, the Congress party faced infighting in its Delhi unit over a pre-poll seat sharing pact with Aam Admi Party.
Former Delhi chief minister and veteran Congress leader Sheila Dixit was against AAP-Congress alliance in Delhi. In a letter to the Congress chief Rahul Gandhi, Sheila Dixit has written that an alliance with AAP will harm the party in Delhi.
A formal announcement by Arvind Kejriwal that the alliance was off the table has come as a big relief for BJP leaders as the party will be a direct beneficiary of a three corner contest in Delhi.