New Delhi: The Congress was headed for a rout in Delhi Sunday, with the BJP seemingly on the winning track but the debutant Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) putting up a spectacular show in the battle for the 70-member assembly.
As vote trends poured in from across the capital, the 15 years of Congress rule appeared set to end, with even Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit trailing to AAP leader Arvind Kejriwal in New Delhi constituency.
Despite leading in 32 of 68 constituencies where trends were available, the Bharatiya Janata Party admitted that the Delhi verdict was not “to our expectations”.
“We thought we will get a clear majority but the results are not to our expectations,” said BJP spokesperson Sudhanshu Trivedi.
Activists of the one-year-old AAP, a product of the anti-corruption campaign of Gandhian Anna Hazare, celebrated noisily outside many counting centres.
A leading light of the AAP, Shazia Ilmi, told the media: “We always spoke about real issues. Now people are responding to it.”
The Congress, which has governed Delhi since 1998 with Dikshit at its helm, was stunned.
Its candidates were headed for defeat even in known party strongholds, party sources and election officials said.