New Delhi: With the counting of votes for the Delhi assembly elections entering the final phase, the Aam Aadmi Party is all set to return with a thumping majority with the BJP a distant second. While the Congress party has repeated its performance from the last assembly election in 2015 and got zero seats, the party’s performance has worsened with respect to candidates holding on to their security deposits.
According to the Trivedi Centre for Political Data headed by Gilles Verniers and Sudheendra Hangal, out of the 66 seats the Congress party contested in the Delhi election, it lost its security deposit in 63 of the seats. Thus 95 per cent of the party’s candidates could not hold on to their security deposit.
The Congress party contested 66 out of the 70 seats in the Delhi Assembly Election, while its alliance partner the Rashtriya Janata Dal contested the remaining four seats. Senior party leaders such as Alka Lamba, Radhika Khera, Haroon Yusuf, Arvinder Lovely lost their security deposits.
If a candidate fails to get one-sixth of the votes in their constituency then the amount deposited by the candidate is seized by the Election Commission. According to Section 34, 1(a) of the Representation of the People Act 1951, it is mandatory for candidates to deposit a security of Rs. 10,000 to contest assembly elections. A security deposit is required to ensure that only serious candidates file their nominations to contest the elections.
In the 2015 Delhi Assembly Election, the Congress party contested all 70 seats and lost its security deposit in 62 of the seats, according to the Trivedi Centre for Political Data. Amounting to 88 per cent of the party’s candidates losing their security deposit.
Lacklustre Congress performance
ThePrint spoke to national spokesperson of the Congress party Jaiveer Shergill who explained that the larger point in the election is that people voted to solidify Aam Aadmi Party as the undisputed winner to defeat the BJP, which is what led to a transfer of votes from the Congress to the Aam Aadmi Party.
Talking about the way forward, Shergill said that all the candidates who lost need to spend a considerable amount of time on the ground and present an alternative plan of governance as opposed to that of the Aam Aadmi Party.
He also said, “There is a need for a new face to lead the party in the state and the Congress must come out of this phase of experimentation and back a team for the next four years.”
Shergill also added that the party needed to send a strong message to seek accountability and answerability for non-performers. “It cannot be business as usual”, he said.
While Delhi Congress leader and party spokesperson Pawan Khera added that another reason for the poor performance of the Congress in Delhi was that organisations tend to depend on personalities and Sheila Dikshit’s demise impacted the performance of the party in the state. “We need to build new leader”, said Khera.
He also added that the current narrative induces strong electoral choices. Therefore, voters tend to ensure that their vote does not go to a party which is perceived not to be doing well.