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Monday, February 9, 2015, Magh 27, 1421, Robi-Us-Sani 19, 1436 Hijr

BJP rejects Delhi poll defeat forecast
Published : Monday, 9 February, 2015,  Time : 12:00 AM,  View Count : 19

NEW DELHI, Feb 8 : Narendra Modi's party staunchly denied on Sunday that India's prime minister was facing his first election defeat since storming to power last year, even though exit polls tipped an anti-corruption camapaigner to win New Delhi's state polls.
Six exit polls released hours after voting ended on Saturday indicated the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) of former Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal had comfortably beaten Modi's Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).  Although the polls have been inaccurate in the past, a loss for Modi would set back his plans to consolidate power in the national parliament to push through promised economic reforms.
Victory for Kejriwal would mark a stunning comeback for the anti-graft champion who resigned following a chaotic 49-day spell in charge of the Delhi state government a year ago.
A BJP leader refused to throw in the towel Sunday, saying official results released on Tuesday would show a different story.
India's Commerce Minister Nirmala Sitharaman was less confident, saying in a statement only that "we are hopeful that we will win".  Modi needs to win state elections in coming years to gain control of both houses of the national parliament, where he is attempting to push through reforms on land acquisition, tax and other issues to revive the economy. His efforts are being frustrated in the upper house where the BJP lacks a majority. States are allocated seats in the nation's upper house.
Modi headlined several major rallies during the Delhi campaign, portraying his rival as a "backstabber" for quitting so early. He appeared in front-page newspaper advertisements on the eve of the poll to try to win over last-minute voters.
BJP heavyweights including Finance Minister Arun Jaitley were also ordered to campaign in the final days.    ?AFP

Editor : Iqbal Sobhan Chowdhury
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