No Impact Of Push From Central Leadership As BJP Ends Up In Single Digit In Delhi, Again
The BJP was reduced to just eight seats in the 70-seat strong Assembly. Although this is an improvement from its 2015 tally, the numbers are not what the saffron party may have expected after a high-pitched campaign.
File photo: Union Home Minister and BJP leader Amit Shah during an election campaign rally ahead of the forthcoming Delhi Assembly elections, at Seemapuri constituency in New Delhi on Thursday. (PTI)
New Delhi: Two rallies by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, nearly 50 public meetings and roadshows by Union Home Minister Amit Shah, almost 30 public meetings by party president JP Nadda, and even campaigning by several MPs failed to turn around the Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) fortunes as the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) stormed back to power in Delhi on Tuesday.
The AAP won 62 seats with an overall vote-share of nearly 54%, roughly the same that the Arvind Kejriwal-led party had secured in the 2015 elections. The BJP was reduced to just eight seats in the 70-seat strong Assembly, which though is an improvement from the 2015 tally but not what the saffron party may have expected after a high-pitched campaign. The Congress could not open its account with all but three of its candidates losing their deposits.
Apart from Modi, Shah and Nadda, Union ministers such as Smriti Irani addressed more than 25 rallies, Rajnath Singh 12 rallies, and Nitin Gadkari addressed 10 rallies in Delhi for the BJP.
Among BJP chief ministers, Uttar Pradesh's Yogi Adityanath addressed more than 15 rallies in Delhi whereas Himachal Pradesh's Jairam Thakur, Uttarakhand's Trivendra Singh Rawat and Haryana's Manohar Lal Khattar also addressed a few.
Former chief ministers Shivraj Singh Chauhan (Madhya Pradesh, 2003-2018) and Devendra Fadnavis (Maharashtra, 2014-2019) campaigned for the BJP as well.
Likewise, state party president Manoj Tiwari did more than 70 public meetings and roadshows other than nearly 200 party MPs who campaigned in the capital.
In total, the BJP had listed 40 leaders as its "star campaigners" ahead of the polls. Union minister Anurag Thakur and West Delhi BJP MP Parvesh Sahib Singh were later removed from the list by the Election Commission on account of violation of the Model Code of Conduct.
Despite the campaign, which revolved mostly around nationalism and the anti-Citizenship Amendment Act protests at Shaheen Bagh, the BJP failed to make any significant improvement in its seat tally even as it secured more votes compared with 2015.
More significantly, AAP’s Amanatullah Khan won from Okhla, the seat under which Shaheen Bagh falls, with a margin of more than 90,000 votes — the highest across the city.
Even prominent candidates of the BJP suffered losses, including Ashish Sood from Janakpuri, Rajiv Babbar from Tilak Nagar, Tajinder Pal Singh Bagga from Hari Nagar, and Kapil Mishra from Model Town constituency.
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