Delhi elections: BJP brushes off exit polls that predicted clear majority for Arvind Kejriwal’s AAP

New Delhi: The BJP on Saturday brushed off the exit polls that predicted a clear majority for Arvind Kejriwal’s Aam Aadmi Party. After a meeting of the party’s parliamentarians and senior leaders of the Delhi unit called by union minister Amit Shah, Meenakshi Lekhi said exit polls were not “exact”.
“Exit polls don’t have their math right. Also, the data is collected only till 4 or 5 pm… exit polls have got it wrong before as well” Meenakshi Lekhi told reporters, admitting that the exit poll results were discussed at the meeting.
“Our voters came late in the day and voted till evening,” she added, expressing confidence that the BJP will form government in Delhi.
Voting late was not the strategy the BJP had decided on. At a meeting on Wednesday, Amit Shah has asked people to vote along with their families before 10.30 am to make Delhi and the country safe. “I know your decision. The results on February 11 will shock everyone,” he had said.
An aggregate of five exit polls has indicated that Arvind Kejriwal’s Aam Aadmi Party will win the election with 56 seats – a sharp drop from its record score of 67 in 2015. The majority mark in the 70-seat state assembly stands at 36.
The BJP is expected to get 14 seats – up from three in 2015.
Exit polls, though, have often got it wrong.
Banking on its result of last year’s Lok Sabha polls, the BJP had conducted a massive campaign, roping in most of its 70 union ministers, 270 MPs and leaders and Chief Ministers from various states. The party had drawn up a list of 40 star campaigners, many of whom had camped out at nights with voters in Delhi’s crucial slum areas.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi had led the campaign and Amit Shah had knocked on voters’ doors in person to seek votes for the party, pitching the protest at Shaheen Bagh against the Citizenship Amendment Act as a key poll issue. “When you press the button (on the voting machine) on February 8, do so with such anger that its current is felt at Shaheen Bagh,” the former party chief, who ceded his place to JP Nadda recently, said at an election rally.
Parallely with the BJP’s meeting, the Aam Aadmi Party also held a meeting, which, sources said, was to discuss the security for the Electronic Voting Machines. The meeting was attended, among others, by Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia and election strategist Prashant Kishor.
Predicting a BJP victory soon after the elections, the Delhi BJP chief Manoj Tiwari tweeted saying once that happens, no one should “blame the EVMs”.
“All these exit polls will fail. Please save this tweet from me. The BJP will form government in the city with 48 seats. Please do not look for excuses and blame the EVMs (Electronic Voting Machines),” his tweet read.