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Delhi assembly elections: 5 out of 7 exit polls say AAP to get majority.

New Delhi -- The Aam Aadmi Party appears set to make a stunning comeback with almost all exit polls giving the 26monthold party a majority in the bitterlyfought Delhi elections, possibly paving the way for 46yearold Arvind Kejriwal's return as chief minister and slamming the brakes, at least temporarily, on the Modiled BJP juggernaut.

Of the seven exit polls that were released on Saturday evening after voting ended, only one suggested BJP would win more seats than AAP while five gave Kejriwal's party a clear majority.

AAP was projected to win a minimum of 31 and and a maximum of 53 in the 70member assembly, while for BJP the range was between 17 and 35. An average of the seven polls or the poll of exit polls would give AAP 43 seats and BJP 25.

The polls were unanimous in projecting decimation of the Congress, the latest in a series of humiliating defeats which threaten to reduce the 'Grand Old Party' to the status of a fringe player. Not a single poll gave the party more than five seats and three of them suggested it might fail to win any seats at all. If these predictions are correct, it would indicate a deepening crisis for the party that had won three elections in Delhi on the trot.

If the exit polls prove to be accurate always a big IF although their accuracy has improved in recent times it would be the first time since the Lok Sabha election last year that the BJP would register a disappointing performance. While senior BJP leaders have over the past few days been at pains to emphasise that the Delhi elections should not be viewed as a referendum on Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the fact is that the party had thrown every resource it had into the battle and had attacked Kejriwal and AAP in the sharpest terms possible. That this was in the nation's capital had invested the election with a significance disproportionate to the size of its Assembly.

A victory for AAP would signal that its showing in 2013 was more than just a flash in the pan and the fledgling party is here to stay in Delhi and could use the capital as a platform to build itself nationally.

The ABP NewsNielsen poll gave AAP 43 seats and the BJP 26, leaving just one for the Congress. The India TodayCicero poll gave AAP 38 to 46 seats and BJP 19 to 27 seats, with Congress projected to win three to five seats. The News24Today's Chanakya poll projected 48 seats for AAP (give or take six seats) and 22 for BJP with a similar range. News Nation gave 4145 for AAP and 2327 for BJP leaving between one and three seats for Congress. The India NewsAxis poll had the highest forecast of 53 seats for AAP and just 17 for BJP. In each of these five polls AAP gets a majority even at the bottom of the predicted range.

The India TVCVoter poll projected a relatively more even battle with AAP winning 3543 seats and BJP 2533. In this poll, therefore, it is possible that AAP may just touch the halfway mark and not cross it, though it is likely to do so. The Datamineria polls is the only one that says AAP will fall below the halfway mark and the BJP, winning 31 seats against the saffron party's 35.

Party reactions to these polls have been along predictable lines, but we'll have to wait two more days to find out what the actual results are and how closely they mirror the exit polls.

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Publication:The Frontier Star (Northwest Frontier Province, Pakistan)
Geographic Code:9INDI
Date:Feb 9, 2015
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