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BJP's 7-0 Sweep: Why Didn't Delhi Go the Uttar Pradesh and Haryana Way?

With both UP and Haryana voting against the BJP, what made Delhi vote differently?

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What went wrong for the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) and the Congress in Delhi even as the INDIA bloc put up a commendable show in its neighbouring states – Uttar Pradesh and Haryana?

On 4 June, the two INDIA partners drew a blank in Delhi as the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) swept all the seven parliamentary seats, achieving a hat-trick.

"This time, the results in Delhi are quite interesting. Delhi has historically been a microcosm of the national mood. If it’s a 4-3 verdict (in the Delhi Lok Sabha), it’s a hung parliament (at the Centre). This time, it is a hung parliament of sorts (with the BJP failing to win a majority on its own) despite the party sweeping 7-0 in Delhi," senior journalist and political commentator Arathi S Jerath told The Quint.

So, even as the BJP loses some ground, what explains the voter behaviour in Delhi? What are the factors that allowed the BJP to dominate? The Quint decodes.

BJP's 7-0 Sweep: Why Didn't Delhi Go the Uttar Pradesh and Haryana Way?

  1. 1. But First, A Quick Look at the Numbers 

    While the BJP had fielded candidates in all seven constituencies, the AAP contested in four seats (East Delhi, New Delhi, South Delhi and West Delhi) and the Congress in three (Northeast, Northwest and Chandni Chowk) seats.

    The BJP registered an overall vote share of 54.35 percent, down nearly 2.6 percentage points from 56.85 percent in 2019. The AAP-Congress alliance registered a combined vote share of 42.36 percent.

    With both UP and Haryana voting against the BJP, what made Delhi vote differently?

    The AAP's individual vote share increased by over 6 percentage points from 18.2 percent in 2019 to 24.26 percent this time, data shows.

    (Graphic: Namita Chauhan/The Quint)

    The AAP's individual vote share increased by over 6 percentage points from 18.2 percent in 2019 to 24.26 percent, data shows. However, it's only a slight increase in vote share as the party contested in 4 seats in 2024 as opposed to all seven in 2019.

    Similarly, the Congress' vote share reduced from 22 percent in 2019 to 18.19 percent in 2024. However, it had contested only three seats as opposed to all seven last time.

    Though the BJP won all the seven seats, the margin of victories has significantly reduced, pointing at a more competitive landscape.

    A close analysis by The Quint using the Election Commission data showed:

    • In 2019, the average margin of victory was around 3.2 lakh votes, whereas the average reduced to roughly 1.44 lakh votes now.

    • While the lowest margin of victory for the BJP in 2019 was 2.28 lakh votes in Chandni Chowk, and highest at 5.78 lakh votes in West Delhi, in 2024, the lowest this time was recorded by Bansuri Swaraj in New Delhi at 78,370 votes and the highest by Yogender Chandoliya in Northwest Delhi at 2.9 lakh votes.

    With both UP and Haryana voting against the BJP, what made Delhi vote differently?
    • In 2019, the BJP managed to get more votes than Congress and AAP in 65 Assembly seats. In 2024, this number reduced to 52.

    • The biggest vote-shift was in the Okhla seat, a Muslim-dominated area. In 2019, the BJP trailed here by over 5,688 votes. This margin increased to 73,818.

    Expand
  2. 2. Why Does Delhi Favour BJP?

    EC data shows that in the last 35 years, the BJP has failed to win a majority of the Lok Sabha seats in Delhi only twice – 2004 and 2009. On both those occasions, the saffron party lost overall at the national level.

    However, this time the mood was different in every state, opined Jerath. One of the major factors attributed to the BJP's victory is due to the 'Modi factor,' she added.

    "Delhi being an metropolitan city and at the heart of India, the mood for [PM] Modi was much stronger, in comparison to states like UP, which borders Delhi, and where the BJP fell significantly. Modi is a very dominant and popular figure here," Jerath told The Quint.

    Prior to the elections, the BJP also replaced six of its sitting MPs from Delhi to fight anti-incumbency highlighted by the party’s internal surveys. This seemed to have worked well for the party.

    When asked why Delhi behaved differently compared to UP and Haryana, Yashwant Deshmukh, psephologist and political analyst, said:

    With both UP and Haryana voting against the BJP, what made Delhi vote differently?

    Delhi BJP workers celebrating after sweeping all seven seats in the national capital on 4 June.

    (Photo: PTI)

    "Delhi has voted for the BJP because that's just its history. Barring UP, Haryana and Rajasthan, the BJP swept most of North and Central India. Delhi is no different from that... Plus, NCR behaved like Delhi and not UP and Haryana. In Gurugram and Faridabad, the BJP candidates won by big margins. The BJP has a huge advantage over these cities because of Modi's huge popularity, despite having a low voter turnout. The trouble begins only when you move further into UP and away from Noida, Ghaziabad..."
    Yashwant

    Even in Maharashtra, the BJP faced a humiliating defeat and was reduced from 27 to 9 seats this time. Mumbai, another metro city, overwhelmingly voted for the Shiv Sena (UBT) faction.

    So, does anti-incumbency not play a role in Delhi, like it did in another states? No, experts believed.

    "The state government in Delhi is run by Kejriwal. If there is anti-incumbency, it should be against Kejriwal and not Modi... As far as Mumbai is concerned, it’s a Shiv Sena stronghold, and not the BJP. Plus, there was a huge sympathy factor in Maharashtra for Uddhav [Thackeray]. There was a sympathy factor for Kejriwal too, but people are clear that Modi should be in the Centre and Kejriwal in the state," Jerath said.

    There is also a significant population in Delhi who seem to go with the BJP in the general elections, but vote for the AAP in the assembly polls, Deshmukh told The Quint.

    "If you see, 15-18% of the population who support the BJP in the Centre, support the AAP in Assembly. With the data on the combined vote share of the AAP and the Congress, you can safely assume that 42 percent are anti-BJP in Delhi. Now, this will split between the AAP and the Congress. Let's say, out of this 30 percent support the AAP and 10 percent support the Congress. Now, the BJP is at 54 percent vote share, out of which 15 percent will go to the AAP in Assembly. Therefore, the BJP's core voter are only around 38 percent."
    Yashwant Deshmukh to The Quint
    Expand
  3. 3. The Failure of AAP-Congress Alliance

    While the INDIA bloc had reasons to celebrate its electoral performance nationally, it faced a massive setback in the national capital, with both AAP and Congress falling short of converting the higher, combined vote share of both into seats.

    A Delhi Pradesh Congress Committee (DPCC) leader, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, told The Quint that to understand the failure, one has to remember that "the rise of the AAP in Delhi since 2013 has come at the cost of a decline in Congress’ fortunes."

    “The AAP has been responsible for wiping out the Congress from Delhi's Assembly. It was hard to convince the workers that we had to work together. In constituencies where the AAP had fielded candidates, local AAP volunteers would be less inclined to work with us. This affected our campaign in seats like Northeast Delhi. At the same time, we saw that the Congress vote got transferred to the AAP, but not the other way around. In many places, voters ended up voting for the BJP."
    DPCC leader to The Quint

    Jerath told The Quint that the lack of coordination between the two parties was one of the major reasons for its defeat.

    "I don’t think that their workers lent each other support and worked on the ground. The AAP has a formidable force of cadres on ground but was not placed at the service of the Congress and vice-versa. Plus, I don't think voters realised that the parties were in alliance. On voting day, there were several instances where people went to voting booth to vote for the jhadu (AAP) symbol, but didn't find it."

    Another factor, Jerath believed, was the arrest of Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal. "He was missing in action since March. He came out in the end to campaign, but he had to cover three states. The BJP’s decision to put him in jail was geared at keeping him off the streets. If he was out there, he may have been able to get the alliance going on ground," she added.

    However, both experts believed that had there been no alliance, the BJP would have won with higher margins.

    "Even without alliance, the BJP would have won simply because of how they vote. If there was no alliance, there would have been a split of the votes between the AAP and the Congress – and every BJP candidate would've won with record margin," said Deshmukh.
    Expand
  4. 4. Why AAP Has Not Been Able to Crack LS Polls?

    "Upar Modi, Dilli mein Kejriwal." This is a sentiment echoed by several voters in the national capital, according to experts The Quint spoke to.

    It is intriguing that the AAP, despite having a massive presence in the Assembly, has failed to win a single seat in parliamentary elections three times in a row. The results have proved again that it is still not considered a national player, experts opined.

    "People don’t treat the AAP as an equity holder in national politics. They feel that the party is a regional player and must focus on that. Plus, they don't see Kejriwal as a PM face. That is why, even in 2019, the Congress was in the second place in Lok Sabha elections in Delhi and not AAP."
    Yashwant Deshmukh, psephologist & political analyst

    This divergence between state and national election outcomes also suggests that Delhi's voters differentiate between local governance and broader national issues when casting their ballots.

    "Local issues and sympathy for Arvind Kejriwal did not work during this election, because people want to elect the next PM – and Kejriwal is not a serious contender. This sympathy may kick in during the Assembly polls. Unlike Tamil Nadu and Bengal where sub-nationalism and identity are given importance, Delhi is a migrant city, which has no identity. It has people from across the country residing here. Therefore, the AAP only appeals to Delhi at local level and not translate it to national sentiment."
    Arathi S Jerath

    Last week, the AAP also said its alliance with Congress was restricted to the Lok Sabha polls and ruled out the possibility of a seat-sharing arrangement in the Assembly polls, which are due early next year.

    "The same supporters who voted for the BJP now will switch to the AAP next year," experts said.

    (At The Quint, we are answerable only to our audience. Play an active role in shaping our journalism by becoming a member. Because the truth is worth it.)

    Expand

But First, A Quick Look at the Numbers 

While the BJP had fielded candidates in all seven constituencies, the AAP contested in four seats (East Delhi, New Delhi, South Delhi and West Delhi) and the Congress in three (Northeast, Northwest and Chandni Chowk) seats.

The BJP registered an overall vote share of 54.35 percent, down nearly 2.6 percentage points from 56.85 percent in 2019. The AAP-Congress alliance registered a combined vote share of 42.36 percent.

With both UP and Haryana voting against the BJP, what made Delhi vote differently?

The AAP's individual vote share increased by over 6 percentage points from 18.2 percent in 2019 to 24.26 percent this time, data shows.

(Graphic: Namita Chauhan/The Quint)

The AAP's individual vote share increased by over 6 percentage points from 18.2 percent in 2019 to 24.26 percent, data shows. However, it's only a slight increase in vote share as the party contested in 4 seats in 2024 as opposed to all seven in 2019.

Similarly, the Congress' vote share reduced from 22 percent in 2019 to 18.19 percent in 2024. However, it had contested only three seats as opposed to all seven last time.

Though the BJP won all the seven seats, the margin of victories has significantly reduced, pointing at a more competitive landscape.

A close analysis by The Quint using the Election Commission data showed:

  • In 2019, the average margin of victory was around 3.2 lakh votes, whereas the average reduced to roughly 1.44 lakh votes now.

  • While the lowest margin of victory for the BJP in 2019 was 2.28 lakh votes in Chandni Chowk, and highest at 5.78 lakh votes in West Delhi, in 2024, the lowest this time was recorded by Bansuri Swaraj in New Delhi at 78,370 votes and the highest by Yogender Chandoliya in Northwest Delhi at 2.9 lakh votes.

With both UP and Haryana voting against the BJP, what made Delhi vote differently?
  • In 2019, the BJP managed to get more votes than Congress and AAP in 65 Assembly seats. In 2024, this number reduced to 52.

  • The biggest vote-shift was in the Okhla seat, a Muslim-dominated area. In 2019, the BJP trailed here by over 5,688 votes. This margin increased to 73,818.

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Why Does Delhi Favour BJP?

EC data shows that in the last 35 years, the BJP has failed to win a majority of the Lok Sabha seats in Delhi only twice – 2004 and 2009. On both those occasions, the saffron party lost overall at the national level.

However, this time the mood was different in every state, opined Jerath. One of the major factors attributed to the BJP's victory is due to the 'Modi factor,' she added.

"Delhi being an metropolitan city and at the heart of India, the mood for [PM] Modi was much stronger, in comparison to states like UP, which borders Delhi, and where the BJP fell significantly. Modi is a very dominant and popular figure here," Jerath told The Quint.

Prior to the elections, the BJP also replaced six of its sitting MPs from Delhi to fight anti-incumbency highlighted by the party’s internal surveys. This seemed to have worked well for the party.

When asked why Delhi behaved differently compared to UP and Haryana, Yashwant Deshmukh, psephologist and political analyst, said:

With both UP and Haryana voting against the BJP, what made Delhi vote differently?

Delhi BJP workers celebrating after sweeping all seven seats in the national capital on 4 June.

(Photo: PTI)

"Delhi has voted for the BJP because that's just its history. Barring UP, Haryana and Rajasthan, the BJP swept most of North and Central India. Delhi is no different from that... Plus, NCR behaved like Delhi and not UP and Haryana. In Gurugram and Faridabad, the BJP candidates won by big margins. The BJP has a huge advantage over these cities because of Modi's huge popularity, despite having a low voter turnout. The trouble begins only when you move further into UP and away from Noida, Ghaziabad..."
Yashwant

Even in Maharashtra, the BJP faced a humiliating defeat and was reduced from 27 to 9 seats this time. Mumbai, another metro city, overwhelmingly voted for the Shiv Sena (UBT) faction.

So, does anti-incumbency not play a role in Delhi, like it did in another states? No, experts believed.

"The state government in Delhi is run by Kejriwal. If there is anti-incumbency, it should be against Kejriwal and not Modi... As far as Mumbai is concerned, it’s a Shiv Sena stronghold, and not the BJP. Plus, there was a huge sympathy factor in Maharashtra for Uddhav [Thackeray]. There was a sympathy factor for Kejriwal too, but people are clear that Modi should be in the Centre and Kejriwal in the state," Jerath said.

There is also a significant population in Delhi who seem to go with the BJP in the general elections, but vote for the AAP in the assembly polls, Deshmukh told The Quint.

"If you see, 15-18% of the population who support the BJP in the Centre, support the AAP in Assembly. With the data on the combined vote share of the AAP and the Congress, you can safely assume that 42 percent are anti-BJP in Delhi. Now, this will split between the AAP and the Congress. Let's say, out of this 30 percent support the AAP and 10 percent support the Congress. Now, the BJP is at 54 percent vote share, out of which 15 percent will go to the AAP in Assembly. Therefore, the BJP's core voter are only around 38 percent."
Yashwant Deshmukh to The Quint
0

The Failure of AAP-Congress Alliance

While the INDIA bloc had reasons to celebrate its electoral performance nationally, it faced a massive setback in the national capital, with both AAP and Congress falling short of converting the higher, combined vote share of both into seats.

A Delhi Pradesh Congress Committee (DPCC) leader, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, told The Quint that to understand the failure, one has to remember that "the rise of the AAP in Delhi since 2013 has come at the cost of a decline in Congress’ fortunes."

“The AAP has been responsible for wiping out the Congress from Delhi's Assembly. It was hard to convince the workers that we had to work together. In constituencies where the AAP had fielded candidates, local AAP volunteers would be less inclined to work with us. This affected our campaign in seats like Northeast Delhi. At the same time, we saw that the Congress vote got transferred to the AAP, but not the other way around. In many places, voters ended up voting for the BJP."
DPCC leader to The Quint

Jerath told The Quint that the lack of coordination between the two parties was one of the major reasons for its defeat.

"I don’t think that their workers lent each other support and worked on the ground. The AAP has a formidable force of cadres on ground but was not placed at the service of the Congress and vice-versa. Plus, I don't think voters realised that the parties were in alliance. On voting day, there were several instances where people went to voting booth to vote for the jhadu (AAP) symbol, but didn't find it."

Another factor, Jerath believed, was the arrest of Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal. "He was missing in action since March. He came out in the end to campaign, but he had to cover three states. The BJP’s decision to put him in jail was geared at keeping him off the streets. If he was out there, he may have been able to get the alliance going on ground," she added.

However, both experts believed that had there been no alliance, the BJP would have won with higher margins.

"Even without alliance, the BJP would have won simply because of how they vote. If there was no alliance, there would have been a split of the votes between the AAP and the Congress – and every BJP candidate would've won with record margin," said Deshmukh.
ADVERTISEMENTREMOVE AD

Why AAP Has Not Been Able to Crack LS Polls?

"Upar Modi, Dilli mein Kejriwal." This is a sentiment echoed by several voters in the national capital, according to experts The Quint spoke to.

It is intriguing that the AAP, despite having a massive presence in the Assembly, has failed to win a single seat in parliamentary elections three times in a row. The results have proved again that it is still not considered a national player, experts opined.

"People don’t treat the AAP as an equity holder in national politics. They feel that the party is a regional player and must focus on that. Plus, they don't see Kejriwal as a PM face. That is why, even in 2019, the Congress was in the second place in Lok Sabha elections in Delhi and not AAP."
Yashwant Deshmukh, psephologist & political analyst

This divergence between state and national election outcomes also suggests that Delhi's voters differentiate between local governance and broader national issues when casting their ballots.

"Local issues and sympathy for Arvind Kejriwal did not work during this election, because people want to elect the next PM – and Kejriwal is not a serious contender. This sympathy may kick in during the Assembly polls. Unlike Tamil Nadu and Bengal where sub-nationalism and identity are given importance, Delhi is a migrant city, which has no identity. It has people from across the country residing here. Therefore, the AAP only appeals to Delhi at local level and not translate it to national sentiment."
Arathi S Jerath

Last week, the AAP also said its alliance with Congress was restricted to the Lok Sabha polls and ruled out the possibility of a seat-sharing arrangement in the Assembly polls, which are due early next year.

"The same supporters who voted for the BJP now will switch to the AAP next year," experts said.

(At The Quint, we are answerable only to our audience. Play an active role in shaping our journalism by becoming a member. Because the truth is worth it.)

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