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Politics

Delhi Polls: With Only 4% Vote Share, Congress Could Lose Its Deposit in All Seats

The Congress is not leading even in a single seat, and is in the second position in only one of the 70 seats.

New Delhi: As the trends have solidified, it now appears that the Congress party – which was in power continuously in Delhi between 1998 and 2013 – will end up with a sub-5% vote share. As of now, the party has a vote share of 4.1%, way behind the Aam Aadmi Party’s 52% and the Bharatiya Janata Party’s 40%.

The Congress is not leading even in a single seat, and is in the second position in only one of the 70 seats – Chandni Chowk. There too, the BJP is close on its heels for the second position, with only a 40-vote difference. The AAP is leading by a rather comfortable 12,000 votes in Chandni Chowk.

Unless fortunes change dramatically for the Congress, it could possibly forfeit its deposit in all the seats. According to the Election Commission’s rules, a candidate has to forfeit her deposit if she gets less than 1/6th of the total votes polled – which means less than 16.67% of the votes.

With a 4.1% vote share, Congress could potentially lose its deposit in most seats, if not all. In the 2015 elections, the Congress had a 9.7% vote share and had to forfeit its deposit in 62 of the 70 seats.

Not long ago, in 2008, the Congress had a vote share of 40% in the assembly elections. During Sheila Dixit’s reign, it had reached a peak of 48% in the 2003 elections.

But when the AAP came along, its fortunes started dwindling. In the 2013 polls, it registered a vote share of 24% behind BJP’s 33% and AAP’s 29%. Since then, the Delhi assembly elections have essentially turned into contests between the BJP and the AAP.

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In 2018, when the AAP won a historic mandate, it registered a vote share of 54% while the BJP polled 32% of the votes, holding on to its vote share. The Congress, however, polled only 9% of the votes, registering a dramatic decline. But the party gained some ground in the Lok Sabha elections of 2019, registering 22% of the votes and sitting behind the BJP’s 56% vote share, while the AAP stood third with only 18% of the votes.

According to AAP’s social media Ankit Lal, Congress’s vote share has moved to the BJP this time and not AAP. “This time, Congress voters have all moved to the BJP,” he told The Wire.

Voters tend to vote differently in national elections and assembly elections. Consequently, the Congress’s gains in the Lok Sabha elections have been wiped out in the assembly elections of 2020, with a vote share of just 4.1%, as per trends.

Overall, trends now indicate that the AAP has consolidated its early leads and is now leading on 57 of the 70 seats, as per the Election Commission data. It now has a vote share of almost 53%, with the BJP trailing at 40%.

Follow The Wire’s live blog on the election results here.