NEW DELHI, Feb 10 – Halting the Modi juggernaut in its tracks, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) today scored a landslide victory in the Delhi Assembly elections by winning as many as 67 of the 70 seats, leaving the BJP with only three and completely decimating the Congress which drew a blank, reports PTI.
Aam Admi Party leader Arvind Kejriwal with wife Sunita and party colleagues Ashutosh, Kumar Viswas and others during celebration after the landslide victory of the party in Delhi Assembly polls in New Delhi on Tuesday. - UNI
In an election that was billed by the opposition as a referendum on Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the AAP tornado threw veterans of both the BJP and Congress into the electoral dustbin in their traditional bastions. BJP leaders accepted the defeat as a “setback”, but dismissed suggestions that it was a vote against the Modi government’s performance.
The AAP’s feat was rarely achieved in any state in the past. Only once in 1989, the Sikkim Sangram Parishad had won all the 32 seats in the Assembly.
Former Revenue Service officer Arvind Kejriwal, the AAP mascot who spearheaded the party’s victory march, himself won the prestigious New Delhi seat by a margin of over 31,500 votes defeating his nearest BJP rival Nupur Sharma, a political novice. Former Minister and Congress veteran Kiran Walia came a poor third with 4,700 votes and lost her deposit.
The BJP’s humiliation was complete with its chief ministerial face Kiran Bedi losing in the traditional stronghold of Krishna Nagar which was long held by party veteran Harsh Vardhan. She lost by more than 2,000 votes.
Congress’ CM candidate Ajay Maken also suffered a crushing defeat by a margin of over 50,000 votes at the hands of a novice from AAP Som Dutt in Sadar Bazar constituency and lost his deposit. Maken resigned as Congress general secretary taking responsibility for the debacle.
Those who bit the electoral dust included BJP leaders Jagdish Mukhi, Ramvir Singh Bidhuri and Krishna Tirath, who had defected from the Congress on the eve of the elections and Congress leaders AK Walia, Harun Yusuf, Chaudhury Prem Singh and Raj Kumar Chouhan, who are all former ministers and Mahabal Mishra, a former MP.
President Pranab Mukherjee’s daughter Sarmistha Mukherjee also lost in her electoral debut on a Congress ticket in Greater Kailash.
In an address to his supporters who danced and cheered outside the party headquarters throughout the day, Kejriwal cautioned against getting arrogant, saying if that happened, the people would punish them in the next election.
Prime Minister Modi spoke to Kejriwal in the morning, congratulating him on his victory and assured him of the Centre’s support for development in Delhi.