NEW DELHI: Though largely written off by the pollsters, with some even predicting a drubbing of the kind it suffered in 2015, the Congress on Monday said it was hopeful of securing some seats in the Delhi Assembly despite the unflattering exit poll projections. The counting of votes is scheduled on Tuesday. The grand old party had failed to open its account in the 2015 elections. A senior Congress leader said, “Guessing the results a day ahead is not a wise idea but we are going to get more than what the exit poll projections suggest.”
The Congress said it is hopeful of winning at least 10 seats in the Assembly, even though the exit polls say otherwise. The party is doing an internal assessment on the voting pattern.“We hedged all our bets on the legacy of the late chief minister Sheila Dikshit and could not put forward a credible face against Kejriwal. I believe this has harmed the party. Had Sheila Dikshit been around, the result would have been different,” said a Congress leader, asking not to be named.
The party came up woefully short when it came to matching the high octane campaign of the BJP, centred on the Shaheen Bagh protest, and the “Bijli Paani” narrative of the AAP. The party, which had been battling internal rifts ahead of the elections, could not decide its candidates early. This further affected its prospects.
“The voters had connected with the Congress in the Lok Sabha elections, where the party came second in five seats, but the reluctance of senior leaders to contest despite Sonia Gandhi asking them to do so, has clearly hurt the party (in the Assembly elections),” another Congress leader said.
While keeping its fingers crossed ahead of the results, top mandarins and office bearers in the Delhi Congress said it has high hopes from some candidates.