59% Congress Voters in Delhi Want Alliance With AAP To Defeat Modi

64% Congress voters like Arvind Kejriwal, 59% want tie-up with AAP. Has Sheila Dikshit made a mistake?

Published06 Mar 2019, 11:43 AM IST
3 min read

The negotiations between the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) and the Congress for a united anti-BJP alliance in Delhi has led to acrimony, with both parties accusing each other of helping the BJP.

However, data from C-Voter’s latest Delhi-specific survey shows a completely different picture.

According to the survey, most Congress voters want an alliance with the AAP while a majority of AAP voters are opposed to it.

The survey, which was conducted in the first two weeks of February (that is before the Pulwama attack), classifies voters as “BJP voters”, “AAP voters” and “Congress voters” based on who they had voted for in the 2015 Assembly elections.

On being asked if “Congress and AAP should join hands to defeat Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the Lok Sabha elections”, 58.7 percent Congress voters said “yes”. This is much more than the 38 percent Congress voters who said there should be no alliance with AAP, which is also reportedly the stand of Delhi Pradesh Congress Committee president and former Delhi chief minister Sheila Dikshit.

Curiously, AAP’s enthusiasm for the tie-up isn’t quite shared by many of those who voted for it in 2015. According to the survey, 58.6 percent AAP voters said that the party should not ally with the Congress, as opposed to 34.2 percent who said that it should.

Worryingly for AAP, 49.4 percent of those who voted for it in 2015 said that they would shift to the BJP if the party allies with the Congress.

Perhaps the Congress’ reluctance in going for the alliance could stem from fears that while Congress votes will transfer to AAP candidates without much trouble, many AAP voters might opt for the BJP in seats where Congress candidates are in the fray. Both these trends can be seen in the survey results.

The survey indicates that a majority of those who voted for AAP in the 2015 Assembly elections have a positive view of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. When the respondents were asked: “Are you angry with the Narendra Modi government at the Centre? Do you want it to change?”, 60.9 percent AAP voters said “No” as opposed to 36.9 percent voters who wanted to vote it out.

Interestingly, 64.1 percent Congress voters have a positive view of Arvind Kerjriwal’s performance as the Delhi chief minister. Respondents were asked how they rate the performance of the Kejriwal government. 29.9 percent Congress voters said “Excellent” while 34.2 percent said “Very Good”. On the other hand a little over 20 percent Congress voters had a negative view of the Kejriwal government – 14.7 percent said that its performance was “very bad” while 5.4 percent classified it as “bad”.

58.7 percent Congress voters also said that they didn’t want to change the Kejriwal government in the state, as opposed to 39.7 percent who said that they are angry with the state government and wanted it to change.

Curiously, BJP voters had a better opinion of the Sheila Dikshit-led Congress government (1998-2013) compared to the previous BJP government (1993-98). While 42.5 percent BJP voters said that the Sheila Dikshit government is the best government that Delhi has seen, 34.9 percent said the previous BJP government was the best.

This indicates that political loyalties in Delhi are quite fluid and there are a large number of floating voters who can switch from one party to the other.

This was most evident in the 2015 Assembly elections, in which the BJP’s vote share fell to 32.8 percent from 46.9 percent in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections and the AAP’s vote share increased from 33.1 percent to 54.6 percent. This means that a large number of BJP and Congress voters at the Centre picked Kejriwal for the Assembly elections.

Despite the fluid party loyalty of Delhi voters, there is one clear trend – their preference for strong, decisive leaders. It appears that a large number of voters in Delhi choose faces like Narendra Modi, Arvind Kejriwal and Sheila Dikshit and vote differently in Lok Sabha and Assembly elections depending on which leader is the most prominent face in that election.

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