Abhiyan secures over three times the votes that AAP managed, despite contesting in 17 fewer seats
New Delhi: In a major embarrassment for the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), the party polled way less than the Yogendra Yadav-led Swaraj Abhiyan, which got more than three times the votes that AAP managed despite contesting in 17 fewer seats.
While AAP polled 22,851 votes in the 28 seats it contested, the Abhiyan, which also debuted in Karnataka in these polls, fielded candidates on 11 seats and got a total of 79,400 votes, over three times the AAP tally.
Yogendra Yadav and prominent lawyer Prashant Bhushan had formed the Swaraj Abhiyan after falling out with AAP chief Arvind Kejriwal.
AAP candidates also lost their deposits in all the 28 seats. In 23 of the seats, they finished below the NOTA (none of the above) votes. In all, AAP’s 28 candidates secured 22,851 votes — 0.063 per cent of the total votes polled — whereas NOTA polled 3,22,841 votes. The figures indicate that the party got an average of 816 votes in each of the 28 seats.
AAP was initially planning to contest in about 40 seats but finally only managed to field candidates in 28 seats. “We were certainly not expecting this bad performance. We were getting a lot of support while campaigning but people did not vote for us,” Prithvi Reddy, convener of the party in Karnataka, told ThePrint.
String of wipeouts
The Karnataka result for AAP is in keeping with the trend of the party performing poorly in assembly elections across the country. The party had debuted in Nagaland and Mizoram earlier this year but drew a blank. In 2017, AAP contested in 39 of the 40 seats in the Goa assembly elections but its candidates lost their deposit in 38 of them, securing just 57,420 votes.
The defeats come on the back of the disastrous 2014 general elections, when AAP contested in 432 seats but won only four.
The only consolation for AAP outside Delhi has been in Punjab, where the party won the four Lok Sabha seats in 2014 and put up a creditable performance in the 2017 assembly elections. Of the 112 assembly seats it contested, it won 20 and became the principal opposition party in the state.
On the contrary, AAP created a history in 2015 Delhi assembly elections winning 67 of the 70 seats. It was the second assembly election for AAP in Delhi. When the party debuted in Delhi in 2013, it won 28 seats and formed the government with outside support from the Congress.