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NEW DELHI, Feb 11: Riding on its development agenda, the Arvind Kejriwal-led Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) was on Tuesday set for a resounding victory in the Delhi Assembly elections to retain power for a third term.
AAP was leading in 62 out of 70 seats and the BJP in 8, leaving the Congress virtually decimated in a city it had ruled for three consecutive terms under Sheila Dikshit.
Kejriwal himself was leading in his New Delhi constituency by over 6,300 votes, while his deputy Manish Sisodia was 754 votes behind the BJP’s Ravinder Singh Negi in Patparganj.
Kejriwal is expected to address party workers and the media later in the day. His party workers were in a celebratory mode.
“We have been saying since the beginning that the polls will be fought on the basis of work done by us… You wait and watch, we will register a massive win,” AAP spokesperson Sanjay Singh told reporters.
“We hope we get such a clear majority that a message goes out that doing Hindu-Muslim politics will not work anymore,” said an AAP volunteer Fareen Khan at the party office.
The AAP headquarters were decorated with blue and white balloons and big cutouts of Kejriwal were placed in different parts of the office.
However, Kejriwal asked party volunteers to not burst firecrackers in celebration to prevent air pollution. Reducing air pollution was one of the main promises made by the AAP in its manifesto and “guarantee card”.
AAP volunteers said they will abide by Kejriwal’s directive. They grooved to the party anthem ‘Lage Raho Kejriwal’ and hugged each other.
They said other preparations, including ordering sweets and namkeens and even “band baja”, were underway at the party’s ITO headquarters.
In Okhla constituency, the epicenter of the protests against the Union government new citizenship law, the incumbent AAP MLA Amanatullah Khan was headed for victory, with a lead of 28,501 votes against his BJP rival.
Shaheen Bagh, venue of a protracted protest against
the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), falls in Okhla. Less than 2 km away from Shaheen Bagh, students of Jamia Millia Islamia and people of the locality have been holding protests on the road outside the university.
In Seelampur, which witnessed violence during an anti-CAA protest, saw the Aam Aadmi Party candidate Abdul Rehman leading his BJP rival Kaushal Kumar Mishra by over 21,000 votes.
BJP’s Delhi unit chief Manoj Tiwari asked his party supporters not to lose hope. “There are 27 seats where the difference of votes is between 700 to 1,000,” Tiwari told reporters.
Looking ahead, he said he was ready to take on the responsibilities that the election would bring.