“Chalega jhadoo, udhegi dhool, na rahega hath, na rahega phool.” This was the chant in AAP’s campaign in the walled city in the 2015 Delhi assembly elections. No one imagined it would turn into reality on Tuesday as the results were declared, giving AAP a thumping victory and Congress an absolute drubbing.
The BJP never opened account in these constituencies, and the Congress had won them even when it was routed elsewhere in Delhi in 2013.
Congress leader Haroon Yusuf attributed the shift in the Congress electorate to AAP to the “communal atmosphere” across the country and the Capital.
“When such fear psychosis is created, the voter moves with the drift,” he said. Adding that no one in the party expected this result, Yusuf said, “More than shocking, the result is surprising as to how democracy has been taken for a ride.”
The Congress won eight seats in the last assembly election, all from the minority-dominated areas. Of these, six were Muslim-dominated seats — Chandni Chowk, Matia Mahal, Ballimaran, Okhla, Seelampur and Mustafabad.
Three of these now-former MLAs — Haroon Yusuf, Mateen Ahmad, Shoaib Iqbal — had remained unbeaten in their respective constituencies since 1993. These were also constituencies the Congress hoped to win even on their worst day.
However, results show that the Congress has been completely decimated with Muslim leaders of the party admitting that AAP’s campaign was “unmatched” in the national capital.
Former Okhla MLA Asif Mohd Khan said that the people had chosen to vote for “their own benefit,” and that “AAP is an experiment that everyone seems interested in at the moment”.
Seelampur, a Congress bastion where Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi also campaigned this election, slipped form the party’s grip by over 33,000 votes. Chaudhary Mateen had defeated his nearest candidate by 21,000 votes in December 2013 and this time was pushed to third position.
Although conceding defeat, Yusuf said, “We will review the result at a meeting on Wednesday. It is not that the Congress will not rise again.”
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines