On counting day, two of BJP’s most vocal leaders, who had been penalised by the Election Commission — Model Town candidate Kapil Mishra and West Delhi MP Parvesh Sahib Singh — found themselves with little to say. While Mishra lost to AAP’s Akhilesh Pati Tripathi by over 10,000 votes, in Singh’s Lok Sabha constituency, the BJP lost all 10 seats.
A lead of 90 votes after round one of counting convinced Mishra that he would be the next MLA of the constituency. By round five, it was clear Mishra was set to lose, as AAP’s Tripathi was leading with over 10,000 votes.
A similar script played out with Hari Nagar’s Tajinder Pal Singh Bagga, who lost to AAP’s Rajkumari Dhillon by over 20,000 votes.
After a campaign that saw jibes at anti-CAA protesters in Shaheen Bagh and other provocative statements, on Tuesday, both Bagga and Mishra were far more muted.
At the Bharat Nagar counting booth, Mishra told The Indian Express, “I congratulate Tripathi and AAP. I think we (BJP) couldn’t connect with Delhi’s janta.”
In the run up to the election campaign, Mishra had taken out a pro-CAA rally in Connaught Place, where he chanted the slogan, “desh ke gaddaron ko, goli maaro saalon ko”.
On Tuesday he said, “My comment was only about the anti-CAA protests. It was not a part of any campaigning and doesn’t reflect the party’s ideology.”
Bagga, who had spoken of a “surgical strike” in Shaheen Bagh, took to Twitter to congratulate AAP.
He told The Indian Express, “It was an AAP wave and we have to accept that… Their policies of freebies won. As far as Shaheen Bagh is concerned, it was not an election mudda. Even if there was no election, I would have opposed it.”
Singh, who had said protesters from Shaheen Bagh would “enter homes and rape sisters, daughters”, tweeted Tuesday: “Accepting the mandate of the people, we will work harder and continue serving the people of Delhi.” He could not be contacted for a comment despite repeated attempts.
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