2.12 pm: Can Congress save BJP from AAP? With the AAP and BJP locked in a neck and neck battle, the nitty gritties of forming government is now down to single candidates. Even if the BJP is invited to form the government because it is the single largest party, it may have trouble actually forming the government. The Aam Aadmi Party has already categorically declared that it will not ally with the BJP. The hope for the BJP if it comes down to counting numbers seat by seat, Rambir Shokeen could well be a king maker. The independent candidate looks comfortably placed to win the seat of Mundka. He was denied a ticket by the BJP. Will the party have to now eat crow and beg him to help them form a government? Or will he also act on his disillusionment and move towards AAP? There is also the option of taking away MLAs from the Congress. The party is leading in 8 seats, and if at least 4 of these MLAs move towards Congress, they can form a government. Given that the party is a clear third, will the disillusioned MLAs save BJP? Meanwhile sad news for the party, Shazia Ilmi loses the RK Puram seat by just 340 votes. 1.52 pm: AAP, BJP neck in Delhi Now with the BJP and Aam Aadmi Party looking like they are locked in a head on tussle for supremacy, the key seat battles will have to be watched extremely closely. RK Puram, where AAP leader Shazia Ilmi is contesting is nail bitingly close. She is trailing the BJP candidate, Anil Kumar Sharma, by just 205 votes at the moment. Manish Sisodia from AAP is also ahead in the Patparganj constituency. Other key battles include Bijwasam, where the BJP candidate Sat Prakash Rana is leading AAP candidate Devinder Kumar Serawat by 2414 votes and Burari, where the AAP candidate Sanjeev Jha is leading BJP candidate Shri Krishnan by just 1,190 votes. 1.15 pm: Official results trickling in: AAP, BJP win 3 seats each The Aam Aadmi Party and BJP have won 3 seats apiece, according to the official tally oRn the EC site. Meanwhile in terms of trends, the Aam Aadmi Party is edging towards 30 seats. The party is now ahead in 29 seats as opposed to the 32 in which the BJP is leading. The Congress is struggling to make it even to double figures, leading only in 8 seats. The BJP is still confident though. “We will get a complete majority”, said Vijay Jolly to media. 12.54 pm: Must analyse defeat, says Sheila Dikshit Outgoing Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit issued a brief statement in which she said that the party needed to analyse its crushing defeat in the Delhi assembly polls. “We have to analyse what went wrong later, I would like to say a thank you to the people of Delhi for supporting me for the last 15 years. I would also like to thank the media”, she said. Asked whether she failed to read the public mood she sarcastically said, “Bewakoof hai na hum?” Meanwhile another official seat result has been announced – AAP has won Ambedkar nagar. 12.43 pm: First official seat result out – BJP wins Mehrauli And we have the first official seat result and it goes to the BJP in Mehrauli. They are also leading in another 35 seats, according to the official tally by the Election Commission. 12.30 pm: BJP up to 34 seats, but AAP makes significant gains The Delhi result undoubtedly belongs to the Aam Aadmi Party, but the question now is whether or not the BJP will be ultimately able to form the government on its own. The BJP leads are now at 34 seats, but AAP is making spectacular gains – showing leads in 27 seats. The Congress is now only showing leads in 7 seats. The BSP for its part, is holding on to leads in 2 seats. Dikshit continues to remain holed up inside her residence. Journalists are requesting the staff to urge Dikshit to make a statement. She is expected to make a statement in some time. Meanwhile the discussions have predictably swung to what these results mean for Rahul Gandhi. Jayanti Natarajan of the Congress has said that Rahul Gandhi cannot be blamed for the results, but hastened to credit him for the results in Chhattisgarh. Sigh. 11.55 am: Sheila Dikshit resigns as CM Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit has sent her resignation as Chief Minister to the Lt General of Delhi. The news has been greeted with great joy in the AAP office: Sheila tai bhag gayi is the slogan. The three time Chief Minister is set to lose the New Delhi constituency as well, as she is trailing AAP’s Kejriwal by a significant number of votes. The latest update is that she is trailing Kejriwal by 15,000 votes. And sweet irony – she won the same seat by a whopping 14,000 seats. Meanwhile reason to worry for the BJP – their leads have dropped again. They now only lead in 32 seats. The magic number, as we have kept reiterating, is 36. Here is a quick look at AAP supporters celebrating: 11.48 am: Arvind Kejriwal leading Sheila by 10k votes – buzz from AAP More AAP celebrations in the wake of reports that Arvind Kejriwal has won by 10,000 votes. EC website doesn’t confirm this yet but AAP workers are convinced Kejriwal has won. According to Firstpost reporter Shruti Dhapola, “AAP worker tells us EC has declared election and Kejriwal has won”. Not quite, but that doesn’t mean the party should not celebrate. They have every reason to do so. 11.38 am: “Sheila Ko haraya hai, Modi Ko harayange’, shout AAP The celebrations at the AAP office are reaching fever pitch. Supporters are dancing to dhol drums waving brooms in the air and are shouting slogans, the most catching of which seems to be, “Sheila Ko haraya hai, Modi Ko harayange” ( We defeated Sheila, we will defeat Modi next). Meanwhile the BJP is stretching its leads. The latest trends show the party leading in 37 seats now. 11.28 am: BJP leads at magic number of 36 The BJP is now leading in 36 seats – the magic number they need to form a government in the Delhi legislative assembly. The Aam Aadmi Party leads have dropped from 25 to 22, while the Congress party is leading in 8 seats. 11.19 am: Congress accepts defeat The Congress party has accepted defeat in the state assembly elections, IANS reported. The agency also quoted Congress leaders as saying that they would ‘introspect’. Meanwhile interesting AAP fact – the brother of Santosh Koli – the AAP leader who was killed in an accident, is sweeping the Seemapuri seat. Firstpost reporter Shruti Dhapola says the Congress candidate walked out of the counting centre from there. The AAP candidate – Dharmendra Singh – is leading by 10,000 votes. 11.00 am: BJP reaches the halfway mark The BJP is now leading in 35 seats, which is the halfway mark. If it can hold on to this tally and get one more seat, it will not need to look for allies to form the government. This is just as well, given that the Aam Aadmi Party has conclusively ruled out any chance of an alliance with the party. 10.58 am: AAP leading in key constituency of Malviya Nagar The Aam Aadmi Party is leading the key Malvia Nagar constituency, considered to be a key seat. The contest was between Kiran Walia (current minister for Education, Social Welfare, Women and Child Development,Languages) It was largely thought that Arti Mehra would sweep the polls. Here is a look at the way things stand so far: SHRI SOMNATH BHARTI Aam Aadmi Party 6023 MS. ARTI MEHRA Bharatiya Janata Party 3811 MS. KIRAN WALIA Congress 2779 10.48 am: BJP now lead in 34 seats, can they still form the government? The leads are constantly changing as counting continues, and the BJP seems to be pulling a little closer to the magic number of 36 in Delhi. The party is now showing leads in 43 seats, while AAP is leading in 24 seats. The Congress leads have fallen even further to 9 seats. It looks like the party will struggle to even make it to double digits. Meanwhile in worse news for the Congress, Sheila Dikshit is now trailing Kejriwal by 7,000 seats in New Delhi. According to Firstpost reporter Pallavi Polanki, there is a stunned silence at Diksit’s residence. The office is deserted and there are only reporters waiting for Sheila Dikshit to make a statement. “The youth has gone in Kejriwal’s favour. The AAP wave has taken over delhi,” says a disheartened Congress worker 10.42 am: AAP will never never never support Cong, BJP Thrilled AAP supporters have said that the party will ‘never never never’ ally with the BJP even if it falls short of a clear majority in the Delhi legislative assembly. Amid the cheering, party members emphatically told reporters that they would ‘never never never’ ally with the Congress. Meanwhile the Congress admitted that it was disappointed with the assembly results from four states where it appeared to be headed for defeat. “We are disappointed with the results that have come in,” said a crestfallen party leader, Randeep Singh Surjewala. But he quickly added that a defeat in Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh and Delhi might not reflect on national mood ahead of Lok Sabha polls due next year. 10.26 am: BJP is single largest party, but don’t have majority As counting goes on, the BJP looks like it is losing some of its early momentum to AAP. BJP leads have dropped to 30 seats, while AAP is leading in 25. The Congress has upped its tally to leads in 14 seats. At the AAP headquarters, brooms are being waved in the air in celebration. 10.15 am: Leads for all 70 seats out, BJP just shy of magic number The leads are now out for all 70 seats in New Delhi and the BJP looks like it is just shy of the magic number – 36. They are leading in 32 seats, while AAP is a clear second in 24 seats. Congress is leading in 13 seats while the BSP is leading in 1. The BJP will now be hoping that once results get a little clearer, that they will see more seats coming to them. BJP leader Nirmala Sitharaman has meanwhile gone out of her way to reassure the Aam Aadmi Party that there is no party initiative to approach AAP and lure MPs on to their side. This comes even as AAP leader Kejriwal alleged that some of his party MPs had already been approached by the BJP. While Sitharaman’s assertions are admirable, no one can rule out some strong horse trading. Expect a lot of allegations and counter allegations in the next few hours and days. 10.00 am: With 2 seats to go, BJP looks set to form govt Leads are out in 68 seats and the BJP looks like it will form the government on its own. The BJP is leading in 34 seats, while AAP is behind, showing leads in 24 seats. Congress is postitvely floundering in third place with leads in just 8 seats. Others – in this case the BSP – are leading in 2 seats. Here are some early trend specifics: AAP leader Manish Sisodia is leading from Patparganj, Kejriwal is leading Dikshit in New Delhi, and AAP has ruled out any alliance with the BJP. AAP leader Shazia Ilmi has echoed Kejriwal’s statement in the morning that there would no question of allying with the BJP, reports Firstpost’s Pallavi Polanki. “We have taken all adequate precautions against our candidates being poached. We are not poachable. There is no question of joining hands with the BJP or Congress. The idea is not to come to power by hook or crook,” says AAP’s Shazia Ilmi on arriving at the Gol market counting centre in Delhi . Meanwhile here is some early morning cuteness: 6 year old AAP supporter Gauri who’s been up since 7 am & is waiting for results. #delhielections pic.twitter.com/HnYxb7OFwO — Shruti Dhapola (@ShrutiDhaps) December 8, 2013 9.50 am: Sheila losing New Delhi seat? The unthinkable has happened. Sheila Dikshit is trailing Kejriwal in the New Delhi seat by 2,000 votes. Will the incumbent Chief Minister be unable to hold on to her own constituency? We can only wait and see. But the good news for Kejriwal fans is that he has actually caught up to her. A few hours ago, she was leading the votes. 9.43 am: Leads out in all but 4 seats, Congress set to lose The BJP is edging closer to the halfway mark, leading in 31 seats. AAP is leading in 22 seats, while the Congress is leading in 10 seats. The BSP is leading in 2. Of course it is early days, but this much is certain – the Congress is set to lose. BJP CM candidate Harsh Vardhan looks as pleased as punch, but he’s not celebrating yet. ‘I will not celebrate till all the results are out’, he says. 9.30 am: 60 out of 70 leads out, BJP ahead The BJP is now ahead in 28 seats, while AAP is leading in 20 seats. The Congress is absolutely getting decimated – there is no other word for it – with leads in just 10 seats. Congress spokesman Abhishek Manu Singhvi is putting a brave face on, saying that although the BJP is leading all four states, there is no Modi wave in the country. 9.20 am: Leads out in 50 seats, AAP celebrates exceptional performance The Aam Aadmi Party has everything to celebrate this poll. BJP is ahead in 21 seats, but AAP is right behind them with leads in 18 seats. Congress struggling in third with leads in just 8 seats, while ‘others’ are ahead in just 3 seats. Lots of shouts of ‘Vande Mataram’ and ‘Bharat mata ki jai’ outside the AAP office in Connaught place. ALl the pundit discussions are now focusing on whether or not AAP will ally with the BJP. AAP cheering in full force as the results pour in. #delhielections #delhiresults pic.twitter.com/52j0rFkkDw — Shruti Dhapola (@ShrutiDhaps) December 8, 2013 9.11 am: Leads out in 40 seats, BJP ahead Leads are now out in 40 seats and AAP looks like it is giving the BJP a good run for its money. The BJP and AAP are leading in 16 seats each, while the Congress is a distant third, leading in just 6 seats. 9.00 am: BJP pulling ahead, Cong, AAP, BSP jostle for second More leads coming in and the BJP is well ahead now, leading in 12 seats, this is a gain of 7. The Congress is leading in 5, AAP is leading in 7 seats, and BSP is leading in 3. Meanwhile in Rohtas Nagar, widely considered a bellwether state, is showing a gain for BJP. BJP CM candidate Harsh Vardhan tells Firstpost reporter Soumik Mukherjee that he has always been very certain that the party was clearly ahead of Cong and AAP. “They were fighting each other”, he said. “I am certain of the party’s win in at least 40 seats. The credit goes to cadres and all the leaders in Delhi BJP”, he added. Here is a picture of the buoyant AAP office courtesy Shruti Dhapola AAP supporters outside the office cheering at results. #delhielections #delhiresults pic.twitter.com/TaoUUQcHvt — Shruti Dhapola (@ShrutiDhaps) December 8, 2013 8.53 am: Sheila Dikshit leading Kejriwal in New Delhi Contrary to the results of all the major exit and opinion polls, incumbent Congress CM Sheila Dikshit is leading Kejriwal in New Delhi. Leads are out for 20 seats now, Congress ahead in 4, BJP ahead in 7, AAP ahead in 4 and others ahead in 5. 8.49 am: Leads out in 15 seats, BJP pulls ahead Congress lead in 3, BJP leads in 6 and AAP leads in 4 so far. The ‘others’ meaning independent candidates are also leading in 3 seats. However the usual caveats, these are very very early trends. 8.44 am: AAP leads 2 seats, BJP, Cong 1 each Results coming in thick and fast again, AAP is ahead in 2 seats and the BJP and Congress lead in 1 each. However the bad news for the Congress, is that they won all these seats in 2008. AAP is leading in Narela and Seemapuri. Narela is just north of the Haryana border, somewhat rural in character and very poor. Seemapuri in East Delhi is the constituency in which Santosh Koli, the AAP member who was killed in an accident, was running for the party. 8.34 am: First lead out, AAP ahead The Aam Aadmi Party is leading in the Narela constituency, which the Congress won in 2008 with a 0.8 percent margin. The cheers outside the AAP office make it sound like a cricket match, says our Firstpost reporter. However this is just a very early lead, and is likely to be only a postal ballot. AAP leader Ypogendra Yadav has a huge smile on his face, but cautions that these are still very early days. The Congress is also leading in a seat. Nothing for the BJP yet. 8.21 am: Kejriwal says he is confident of win Arvind Kejriwal has arrived at the AAP office in Connaught place, and has told his supporters and the media that he is confident of a win. The AAP leader sparked off some controversy earlier this morning, by saying that his party members were being approached by the BJP in the wake of exit polls that showed AAP emerging as the second largest party in the state. “No matter what happens the people would have won, Arvind Kejriwal said in an interview with CNN-IBN. “We are not thinking about particular posts like the CM or PM. We are working for the nation”, he added. Firstpost reporter Shruti Dhapola who is at the AAP office, says that the biggest complaint outside AAP office is that the tv is displaying the election result is not big enough. Some AAP supporters leave as TV is not big enough. They’re going to watch results at home. Meanwhile on the Congress side of the camp, party workers have resorted to prayer: Congress workers conduct prayers outside Sheila Dikshit’s residence pic.twitter.com/WUlTEjPVyo — ANI (@ANI_news) December 8, 2013 8.00 am: Counting begins for Delhi election It’s 8am, and counting has begun in the Delhi assembly polls. We will soon begin to see emerging trends from the various districts, and the fates of various political leaders will be decided. The most attention is of course, on Sheila Dikshit, the three term Chief Minister who looks like she is on her way out. And the Indian Express has a feature detailing what she did on Saturday. She told the newspaper that she spent some time reading, first the newspapers and then a few pages of Ramchandra Guha’s India After Gandhi. “A major part of my time goes in reading paper after paper, to read how people are dismissing me with biased reports,” she said, While staffers, all old-timers, were still preparing her favourite dishes and pottering about the house, Dikshit herself found time for classical music. After previous elections, Dikshit would sometimes promise her family more time to do what they want her to. This time, however, says the report, she has never discussed the prospect of a defeat. Meanwhile here is a look at Delhi’s districts: 7.48 am: Outside the AAP office, party workers are set for business Full set up at AAP office on day of election results. #delhielections #Delhipolls #Delhiresults pic.twitter.com/WHQpuFqrZE — Shruti Dhapola (@ShrutiDhaps) December 8, 2013 The AAP office is a hive of activity in Delhi, says Firstpost reporter Shruti Dhapola. According to exit polls, AAP is set to outperform the incumbent Congress party, grabbing between 13 -21 seats and 27 percent of the popular vote. Meanwhile Kumar Vishwas has arrived at the AAP office and is immediately mobbed by reporters. He tells people that they are confident of victory. 7.00 am: Are Sheila Dikshit’s hours numbered? With the counting of votes in the Delhi assembly elections scheduled to begin at 8am, we will soon know how the state has voted. And the big question on everyone’s minds of course, is whether the exit polls are correct, and three time Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit will be ousted after 15 years in power. Image from PTI Dikshit herself has put on a defiantly brave face, saying that she is not swayed by exit poll results and still believes she will do well, even leading the Congress party to victory. But given public sentiment and the consensus of various exit polls conducted after voting ended on 4 December, it looks like her 15-year term at the helm of the Delhi legislative assembly is for all events and purposes, over. In fact, shockingly, A Lokniti (CSDS) exit poll for CNN-IBN and The Week even predicts that she will lose her own seat – New Delhi – to political upstart Arvind Kejriwal. Only 13 percent of voters polled from the constituency said that they had voted for her, as opposed to 38 percent for Kejriwal and 22 percent for Vardhan. Diskhit’s popularity has also plummeted from 41 percent in 2009 to a paltry 15 percent. This is opposed to a 27 percent popularity rating for Kejriwal and 22 percent for BJP candidate Harsh Vardhan. The exit poll has predicted that the ruling Congress party are likely to emerge a paltry third in the Delhi assembly polls, winning between 9 and 17 seats and just 23 percent of the vote, behind the BJP (32-42 seats and 33 percent) and Aam Aadmi Party (13 -21 seats and 27 percent). This is a marked fall from its previous 2008 high of 43 seats. As Firstpost editor R Jagannathan pointed out, the exit poll results point to four possible scenarios in Delhi: 1: The likeliest possibility is a clear win, or even a sweep, for the BJP. In a three-way vote split, the party with the largest chunk of the vote often gets a disproportionate number of seats – especially if its votes are concentrated in the right areas. This is what happened in Uttar Pradesh in 2012, when the Samajwadi Party got a clear majority with a vote share of less than 30 percent, and with the BSP just three percentage points behind. By raising its vote share by just 3.7 percent to 29.15 percent, Akhilesh Yadav saw his seat count rise from 97 in 2007 to a record 224 in 2012. 2: The second possibility is that of the BJP emerging as the single largest party. In this case, it will have AAP breathing down its neck – resulting in a hung house. This could happen if the BJP’s vote-share is evenly distributed while AAP’s votes are concentrated in critical pockets. In this eventuality, it is not inconceivable that AAP could form a government with some of the smaller parties like the BSP or independents, who have a 17 percent vote share between them. It is, however, not clear if this will get them a proportionate number of seats. Some of the vote share may just be wasted among also-rans. 3: The third possibility is of the AAP actually emerging as the biggest party. Despite a lower vote share, it may end up with a higher seat share because it may have concentrated its vote-gathering efforts in the right pockets. If this happens – but it is not likely – it will be a tribute to AAP’s ability to micro-manage its voter messaging in the areas most hospitable to its debut. 4: The only outcome that seems unlikely is that of Congress springing a surprise. Not only is the Congress not likely to win, it is even less likely to emerge as the single largest party in the Delhi assembly given the huge disenchantment of the voter with both Sheila Dikshit’s government and the UPA government at the centre. Voter dissatisfaction was high, with 56 percent of those polled saying they were unhappy with the Delhi government and an even larger 63 percent saying they loathed the Congress-led UPA government. RELATED:
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