New Delhi: Just like the last time, the Congress again drew a blank in the Delhi assembly elections. But notwithstanding the scale of its loss, it did manage to play a spoilsport on eight seats in the 70-member assembly.
As dust settled down on the final vote count, it emerged that the winner AAP and the challenger BJP had to concede defeat on two and six seats, respectively, due to Congress polling more than the victory margin.
On Tuesday, the Arvind Kejriwal-led AAP came back to power in Delhi with a resounding triumph — winning 62 seats. The BJP won the remaining 8.
However, AAP could’ve won two more seats — Laxmi Nagar and Gandhi Nagar — if Congress hadn’t made a dent. On these two seats, Congress snatched away crucial votes AAP needed for victory.
In the Laxmi Nagar constituency, incumbent AAP MLA Nitin Tyagi had to face defeat from BJP’s Abhay Verma by just 880 votes. Congress, which was in third place here, polled much more than the victory margin with 4,872 votes.
Similarly, BJP’s Anil Bajpai, a former AAP MLA, retained the Gandhi Nagar constituency by defeating AAP’s Naveen Chaudhary by over 6,000 votes whereas veteran Congress leader Arvinder Singh Lovely secured 21,913 votes in third place.
AAP’s Manish Sisodia, who was the deputy chief minister before the elections, also had a close shave in Patparganj due to the Congress. Involved in a neck and neck tussle with BJP’s Ravinder Singh Negi, Sisodia won with a vote margin of 3,207. However, both Congress and BSP secured 2,802 and 676 votes, respectively, on this seat and could have played a spoilsport together.
Bigger loss for BJP
Congress did, however, cost the BJP more than it did the AAP.
After it fought a bitter, intense campaign on non-local issues, the Amit Shah-led BJP had to concede defeat in Chhatarpur, Bijwasan, Adarsh Nagar, Bawana, Kasturba Nagar and Krishna Nagar due to Congress.
In Bijwasan, BJP’s Sat Prakash Rana polled 56,518 votes but ended up losing to AAP’s Bhupinder Singh Joon who got 57,271 votes. Congress candidate Parveen Rana got 5,937 votes.
Of the seats where Congress played a role in deciding the winner, this was the one with the narrowest margin.
The largest gap among such seats was in Bawana where victory margin was 5.83 percentage points (11,526 votes) whereas the Congress candidate managed 6.47 per cent votes.
Similarly, in Adarsh Nagar, Chhatarpur, Krishna Nagar and Kasturba Nagar, the margin for victory was at 1.6, 2.63, 2.72 and 3.45 percentage points, respectively, while Congress vote share was at 9.65 per cent, 2.74 per cent, 3.46 per cent and 21.42 per cent, respectively.
The BSP results
In 2008, Mayawati’s Bahujan Samaj Party had seen two candidates elected in the Delhi assembly, and was the runner-up in five seats. This assembly election, the BSP lost deposit in all seats it contested.
However, the party did manage to throw up one surprise in the Badarpur constituency, where it came third with a vote share of 5.45 per cent (10,436 votes) and ensured a crucial divide between the winner (BJP’s Ramvir Singh Bidhuri) and runner up (AAP’s Ram Singh Netaji).