A year after Arvind Kejriwal resigned as chief minister, Delhi will vote to elect a new assembly on February 7 and the votes will be counted on February 10. Election Commissioner V S Sampath said the last date for nomination of candidates will be Jan 21 and they could withdraw from the contest by Jan 24. Delhi has a 70-member legislature.
More than 13 million people will be eligible to vote across 11,763 polling centres. Delhi elected a hung assembly in December 2013 after which the Aam Aadmi Party formed a minority government headed by Kejriwal with Congress backing. Kejriwal resigned on Feb 14, 2014. President's rule was imposed in the city on Feb 17 last year.
Sampath said the Model Code of Conduct would come into effect with immediate effect, barring the government from taking major policy decisions that could influence the electorate. The 2013 election ended 15 years of rule by the Congress, whose seats in the 70-member house plunged from 43 in 2008 to just eight. Its vote share also fell from 40 to 25 per cent.
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) emerged the single largest party with 31 seats followed by the AAP, which stunned everyone by bagging 28 seats in its debutant electoral battle. With no single party in a position to form a government, the AAP took power with the outside legislative backing of the Congress. The Kejriwal government fell over lack of majority support.
In the May 2014 Lok Sabha election, the BJP won all seven seats in the capital. The AAP took the second spot everywhere while the Congress came third in six constituencies and fourth in the seventh.