AAP is confident of retaining power in Delhi; the BJP, however, has rejected the predictions made by exit polls
Arvind Kejriwal's Aam Aadmi Party has taken a comfortable lead over its closest rival Narendra Modi's Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) as per early trends on Tuesday.
The counting for 70 seats in the Delhi Assembly elections is underway. Out of 70 seats, AAP is leading on 59 seats, while BJP is ahead on 11.
The exit polls (at least five of them) have predicted a comfortable win for AAP in Delhi. Its leaders too, including Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, have expressed confidence that they will be given the mandate to govern Delhi for the third time, reports Hindustan Times.
Ahead of the counting, Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia said, "We are confident of a win today because we have worked for people in the last 5 years."
The elections on 70 Assembly seats of Delhi were held on Saturday after an aggressive campaign by AAP and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), which is seeking to return to power in Delhi after a gap of 22 years.
BJP leaders have maintained that the exit poll predictions about the party's failure will fall flat as the surveys did not take into account the votes polled late in the evening.
The BJP had mounted one of the most aggressive campaigns in the Delhi Assembly polls, with Union Home Minister Amit Shah leading the charge on its plank of nationalism, and its strident opposition to Shaheen Bagh protests. The issue often dominated the political discourse during the campaign, with many BJP leaders targeting the AAP, and the Congress, accusing them of "misleading people" holding anti-CAA protests in Delhi.
Arvind Kejriwal-led AAP, however, sought to retain power on development plank.
The counting of votes, meanwhile, will take a lot of time. The postal ballot counting has been initiated first, after which the EVM counting will begin. "The EVMs are absolutely secure. There is a set protocol for their movement from the sealing to the counting, and at every stage, the candidates and parties are involved so that everything transparent," said Satnam Singh, special chief electoral office (CEO), Delhi.
As per guidelines of the Election Commission (EC), there are 14 counting tables for each assembly constituency at each round of counting. "The time taken for results to come out of an assembly constituency will depend upon the number of polling stations situated there. However, we are expecting results to be out by afternoon," said Singh.
The Delhi assembly elections were concluded on February 8 with a voter turnout of 62.59 per cent.