Indian Express

From 0-7 to 7-0

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Security personnel watch the trends at a counting centre in the capital on Friday.  ( Source: Express photo by Prem Nath Pandey ) Security personnel watch the trends at a counting centre in the capital on Friday. ( Source: Express photo by Prem Nath Pandey )

As counting drew to an end on Friday evening, the tally in the capital remained the same as five years ago. But the two main parties had swapped places.

From winning all seven seats in 2009, the Congress was at the receiving end of a complete role reversal. The tally read: BJP-7, Cong-0.

The Congress could not manage a second-place finish in even one constituency, a space now filled by the Aam Aadmi Party in all seven seats.

The BJP’s victors are all first-time MPs. Harsh Vardhan from Chandni Chowk, Meenakshi Lekhi from New Delhi, Maheish Girri from East Delhi, Manoj Tiwari from Northeast Delhi, Parvesh Singh Sahib from West Delhi, Ramesh Bidhuri from South Delhi and Udit Raj from Northwest Delhi.

Three of these candidates were also victorious in the Assembly elections — Sahib, Harsh Vardhan and Bidhuri.

Harsh Vardhan who was present at the Delhi BJP headquarters on Friday said the victory was that of the people.

“It is a victory of the people and the credit also goes to the efforts of Narendra Modi. We were confident of winning with him as the PM candidate,” Harsh Vardhan said.

On the AAP and Congress, Harsh Vardhan said, “People have rejected the AAP this time. The AAP has been exposed. People had hopes from the AAP but later they realised they have been fooled by them. The fate of the Congress was sealed in the Assembly elections itself when people rejected them. Congress has become synonymous with corruption and scams,” Harsh Vardhan said.

The list of Congress heavyweights, who managed a dismal third-place finish, include Congress General Secretary Ajay Maken, former Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit’s son Sandeep Dikshit, Union Ministers Krishna Tirath and Kapil Sibal and former Delhi Congress chief J P Agarwal.

A similar fate awaited AAP leaders Ashutosh, Rajmohan Gandhi and former Delhi minister Rakhi Birla.

But despite the clear loss, the AAP does see a silver lining, particularly with the Delhi Assembly elections in the offing.

A senior leader said, “This election was about voting out the Congress and not just support for the BJP and Modi. We were placed second in all seven constituencies and will make a comeback in the Assembly elections.”

The Lok Sabha election results have all three parties in a quandary over a poll strategy for the Assembly election to follow.

The last election had thrown up a hung Assembly, with the BJP winning 32, AAP 28 and the Congress eight seats. However, with three BJP MLAs now headed for Parliament, including the party’s chief ministerial candidate — Harsh Vardhan — a rethink is on the cards.

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