New Delhi, April 21 : With just 20 days to go for polling in the national capital, suspense continues over Delhi's ruling Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) and the Congress on forming an alliance to take on the BJP.
While the AAP is also keen on an pre-poll alliance in Haryana, which will vote on May 12, the Congress is only willing to discuss a tie-up in Delhi. With both the parties sticking to their demands, the alliance issue in Delhi is in a limbo.
Delhi's seven parliamentary constituencies, which go to the polls on May 12 in the sixth phase, voted for the BJP in 2014, leaving the AAP in the second spot. However, the vote share of AAP and Congress in that election, together, was more than that of the BJP in six of the seven seats -- despite the Modi wave.
These numbers for each Lok Sabha constituency suggest that the AAP and Congress should join hands, if they want to defeat the BJP in the national capital.
Out of the total 977,329 votes cast in Chandni Chowk, BJP's Harsh Vardhan got 437,938 (44.81 per cent) votes, AAP's Ashutosh 301,618 (30.86 per cent) and Congress' Kapil Sibal got 176,206 (18.03 per cent) votes. If AAP and the Congress had been one, their total votes against the BJP will be at least 477,824 -- about 40,000 more than the BJP.
Similarly, of the total of 13,13,514 votes cast in North East Delhi, BJP's Manoj Tiwari got 596,125 (45.38 per cent), AAP's Anand Kumar got 452,041 (34 per cent) and Congress' Jai Prakash Agarwal got 214,792 (16.35 per cent) votes. Collectively, the vote share of the Congress and the AAP was the highest -- about 70,000 -- more than the BJP.
Of the total 11,91,361 votes cast in East Delhi, BJP's Maheish Girri bagged 572,202 (48.03 per cent), AAP's Rajmohan Gandhi 381,739 (32.04 per cent) while Congress' Sandeep Dikshit came third with 203,240 (17.06 per cent) votes. Here the collective votes of the two anti-BJP parties was over 12,000.
Of the total 964,223 votes cast in New Delhi, BJP's Meenakashi Lekhi won with 453,350 (47.02 per cent) while AAP's Ashish Khetan got 290,642 (30.14 per cent) and Congress' Ajay Maken got 182,893 (18.97 per cent) votes. The collective vote share of the two parties in New Delhi was about 20,000 more than the BJP.
The margin between the winner (BJP) and the runner-up (AAP) was the least in the North West Delhi seat where Udit Raj won with 629,860 (46.75 per cent) votes while Rakhi Birla of AAP came second with 523,058 (38.83 per cent) votes. Of the total 13,47,210 votes cast, Congress candidate Krishna Tirath got 157,468 (11.69 per cent) votes. Collectively, the Congress and the AAP got 50,000 more votes than the BJP.
In South Delhi, BJP's Ramesh Bidhuri won with 497,980 (45.34 per cent) votes, while AAP's Devinder Sehrawat was the runner-up with 390,980 (35.60 per cent) votes. Congress' Ramesh Kumar got 125,213 (11.40 per cent) votes out of the total 10,98,400 votes. Here the collective vote share of the Congress and the AAP was 18,000 more than the BJP.
It was only in the West Delhi constituency that the collective vote share of AAP and Congress could not exceed that of the BJP.
The vote margin between the first (BJP) and the second party (AAP) was the highest in West Delhi where Pravesh Sahib Singh Verma won with 651,395 (48 per cent) votes against AAP's Jarnail Singh, who got 382,809 (28.57 per cent) votes. Of the total 13,40,039 votes cast, the Congress got 193,266 votes (14.42 per cent). The collective vote share of the AAP and the Congress here was less than that of the BJP by about 75,000 votes.
Tired of waiting for the Congress, the AAP has announced its candidates for all the seven seats in Delhi. The Congress is yet to release its list of names. The last date for filing of nominations is April 23 and withdrawal of names is April 26.
(Nivedita Singh can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)