The Election Commission of India on Sunday announced the dates for the Delhi assembly polls and counting of votes. According to Chief Election Commissioner Sunil Arora, the national capital will vote to elect a new government on 8 February, while the counting of votes will take place on 11 February.
Arora said that the model code of conduct had kicked in with immediate effect.
In 2015, Arvind Kejriwal-led Aam Aadmi Party had won a landslide majority. His party had won 67 out of 70 seats in the Delhi assembly. The BJP had won three while the Congress failed to win a single seat. The AAP’s vote share was over 54%, while the BJP had secured 32.3% vote share. The Congress was placed at a poor third with less than 10% vote share.
Since the last assembly elections, Kejriwal’s popularity has taken a hit as his party failed to replicate the success of 2015 in the municipal body polls two years later. The AAP also failed to win a single seat in the last year’s Lok Sabha polls. Kejriwal’s party ranked third in most constituencies with an exception in South Delhi and Northwest Delhi where its candidates came second.
This is because Kejriwal has been seen compromising on his secular credentials, thereby antagonising Delhi’s Muslim voters. Muslims had voted en masse for Kejriwal in 2015.
Kejriwal was one of the first politicians to support the idea of changing the name of Delhi’s Aurangzeb Road. The suggestion was mooted by known anti-Muslim social media influencer Tarek Fatah.
Congrats. NDMC jst now decided to rename Aurangzeb Road to APJ Abdul Kalam Road
— Arvind Kejriwal (@ArvindKejriwal) August 28, 2015
Kejriwal also courted controversy after his government’s education department reportedly issued notification barring Muslim teachers from offering Friday prayers during school hours.
We support the govt on its decisions on J & K. We hope this will bring peace and development in the state.
— Arvind Kejriwal (@ArvindKejriwal) August 5, 2019
Kejriwal also defied the ban imposed by the National Green Tribunal to support Sri Sri Ravi Shankar’s World Peace Conference on the bank of river Yamuna. Ravi Shankar is a know RSS sympathiser. Kejriwal was later seen sharing the stage with Amit Shah at the event organised by Ravi Shankar’s Art of Living.
The AAP also faced condemnation after Kejriwal extended his support to the BJP in the Rajya Sabha by voting in favour of Amit Shah’s Bill to abrogate Article 370 on Jammu and Kashmir on 5 August. Kejriwal has also not explicitly condemned the BJP for its anti-Muslim amended Citizenship Act. Though he has spoken at length on the CAA, he’s only criticised the BJP for the timing of enacting the Citizenship Act not because the Act could potentially render millions of Muslims stateless in their own country.