New Delhi: The Aam Aadmi Party of Kharagpur IIT alumni and former Indian Revenue Service-turned Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal (51) on Tuesday repeated its 2015 feat of diminishing its closest rival – the BJP – yet again to single digit in the 70-member Assembly.
It won 63 seats in the face of the BJP’s high-decibel campaign on anti-CAA protests and chest-thumping nationalism with former party president Amit Shah knocking door to door for votes.
Finally, the BJP had to reckon with barely eight seats, a paltry improvement over the three it had won in 2015. The Congress drew a blank, as in 2015, with its 63 candidates, barring three, forfeiting their deposits.
The BJP ‘dedicated’ channels were heard gloating early in the day that the party had a sizeable vote share but by evening the bubble had burst with the EC giving AAP 53.63% vote share, 38.45% to the BJP and a measly 4.27% to the Congress.
In 2015, AAP got 54.3% votes, as against BJP’s 32.2% and the Congress’ 9.7%.It is a hat-trick for Kejriwal, a father of two who emerged on the poll arena as a social activist involved in Anna Hazare's anti-corruption movement in 2011.
His rise in Delhi is likened by political pundits to that of Narendra Modi
winning two consecutive Lok Sabha elections. But while Kejriwal cruised through in his New Delhi seat, AAP's No 2, Manish Sisodia, had a tense day in a see-saw battle in east Delhi constituency.
The other AAP heavy weight to win after some hiccups was Atishi Marlena, an educationist.Unlike the BJP's high-octave campaign with most of its 70 Union ministers, chief ministers and 270 MPs and leaders trying to create a hype over nationalism and against anti-CAA protests, the AAP leaders confidently sought to focus on the work done in the field of school education and health and in providing cheap electricity and water; the latest among the sops on offer being free bus ride to women.
The results came as a big booster for the opposition parties, though they were not be able to run down the BJP in Parliament, since the first part of the budget session ended on Tuesday afternoon.