The Aam Aadmi Party swept the Delhi assembly polls yet again on Sunday by securing more than 60 seats – marginally short of the 67 seats it won in the elections held five years ago – paving the way for its supreme leader Arvind Kejriwal to be sworn in as Chief Minister of Delhi for the third time in a row.
The BJP, which put its all might in the last two weeks ahead of the February 8 polls, could not even touch double figures, though it won a few seats more than it did in 2015 and increased its vote share. The Congress repeated its 2015 performance by drawing a blank.
In 2015, the BJP received 32.3 % vote share, the AAP polled 54.3 % votes and the Congress just 9.7 %. According to the results declared on Tuesday, the AAP got 53.64 %, the BJP 38.43 % and the Congress 4.27 %.
As the final results started pouring in, Arvind Kejriwal, who was following the poll trends with top leaders and poll strategist Prashant Kishor in the party headquarters at ITO, addressed thousands of supporters by describing the victory as a ‘new kind of politics’.
“The people of Delhi have given a message that they will vote for schools, mohalla clinics, 24-hour electricity and free water. This is a great message for the country,” Arvind Kejriwal said in a brief speech before heading towards Hanuman Temple in a road show, “Today is Tuesday, Hanuman-ji’s day. Hanuman-ji has showered Delhi with blessings,” said the Chief Minister, who was mocked by the BJP after he recited verses in praise of Lord Hanuman on live television.
Among the winners are a string of AAP leaders including Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia, Atishi and Raghav Chadha.
Manish Sisodia witnessed a see-saw battle in his constituency before eventually emerging victorious by more than 2,000 votes over his nearest rival, the BJP’s Ravinder Singh Negi.
“The BJP tried to do politics of hate but the people of Delhi chose a government that works for the people,” Manish Sisodia said after he won from Patparganj seat.
In the high-stakes poll which eventually turned out to be bipolar, AAP focused its campaign on its work while the BJP tried to shift focus on polarising issues such as the ongoing protest against the citizenship law. The high-decibel campaign was marred by three firing incidents in the Okhla constituency at Shaheen Bagh and Jamia Nagar.
AAP lawmaker Amanatullah Khan retained Okhla, with a record 71,000 votes.
“People of Okhla have given an electric shock,” Amanatullah Khan said, taking a shot at Union Home Minister Amit Shah’s “current” remark. Most exit polls expected the BJP to improve its performance from the last assembly elections in 2015, when it won just three seats, but the party was far behind the incumbent.
Among the seats BJP won are Rohini and Vishwas Nagar that the party had won in 2015 as well.