The Arvind Kejriwal-led Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) will win 18 seats in the 70-member Delhi legislative assembly in the coming polls, according to an opinion poll by ABP News and Nielsen.
The poll also found Kejriwal the most preferred choice as Delhi chief minister. But Delhi will see a close contest between the Congress, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and AAP and the result is likely to be a hung House, it added.
The poll said the BJP would be the largest party with 28 seats, while the Congress would be second with 22 seats.
In an earlier survey done two months ago, AAP was credited with eight seats. At 18 now, it has gained at the cost of both the Congress and the BJP. The poll said AAP was seen gaining 15 per cent of the vote share from the Congress and the BJP.
The survey revealed that corruption and price rise were the main issues for voters to shift from Congress to BJP.
The survey said 32 per cent of the respondents preferred Kejriwal as the chief minister, while 27 per cent preferred incumbent Sheila Dikshit and another 27 per cent were for the BJP’s Vijay Goel. Between August and October, the survey said, eight per cent more respondents favoured Kejriwal. Preference for Dikshit also increased between the same period from 22 to 27 per cent, while it remained constant for Goel.
The survey said the respondents saw AAP as a party which could reduce corruption, while the BJP was seen as capable of controlling corruption. However, in spite of protests in the capital over rising crimes against women, the Congress was seen as a party that could manage law and order.
A huge 65 per cent said they did not want a Congress government again. Interestingly, the state Congress government was seen as suffering from a political disadvantage arising not just out of incumbency but also because of its government at the Centre. Forty-nine per cent of the respondents felt price rise was the biggest issue in the election.
The state government has hardly any control over price rise. Only 14 per cent said water (over which the state government does have administrative control) was an issue. Similarly, just 16 per cent said the power situation - prices, supply, etc - was unsatisfactory. Power is within the provenance of the state government.