As the national capital voted Arvind Kejriwal’s Aam Aadmi Party back into power for a third consecutive time, Delhi witnessed some close races. Numbers show that BJP gave a tough fight to AAP in more than 10 constituencies which the latter had won comfortably in the previous Assembly election.
In 2015, AAP won 36 seats — the majority mark in the house — with more than 20 per cent margin of victory. This time this number has been reduced to 22 seats.
There was close competition (less than 5 per cent margin) on 13 Assembly seats out of which AAP won 10 and BJP got three. In 2015, such fights were limited to six seats of which AAP won four. Interestingly, three of these constituencies — Laxmi Nagar, Krishna Nagar, and Najafgarh — saw close fights again this time.
This time, AAP’s candidate from Bijwasan constituency Bhupinder Singh Joon won by a narrow margin of 753 votes — this is 0.6 per cent of the total votes polled in the constituency. However, in the last Assembly election, Col. Devinder Sehrawat had won this seat for AAP with a margin of 19536 votes (16.5 per cent).
Explained | Why Arvind Kejriwal won a massive mandate again
In Laxmi Nagar, BJP’s Abhay Verma won by only 880 votes defeating AAP MLA Nitin Tyagi. AAP had won the seat with a margin of 4846 votes (3.4 per cent) in 2015.
Similarly, in Krishna Nagar, AAP’s S K Bagga faced tough competition from rival Dr. Anil Goyal from BJP, beating him with a margin of merely 2.7 per cent (3995 votes) of votes polled. Bagga had faced a tougher fight in 2015 when he defeated BJP’s CM face Kiran Bedi by a margin of 1.7 per cent or 2,277 votes.
In Najafgarh constituency, which falls under the parliamentary constituency of Parvesh Verma, BJP gained in vote share by 21 percentage points and went up 46 per cent, but still failed to win. Here, AAP’s Kailash Gehlot won by a margin of 3.8 per cent (6231 votes) defeating BJP’s Ajeet Singh. In 2015, Gehlot faced stiff competition from INLD’s Bharat Singh and was able to win by a tiny margin of only 1555 votes (1 per cent).
In Patparganj, AAP’s heavyweight and number two Manish Sisodia had won by a huge margin of 20.5 per cent (28,791 votes) in 2015. This time, he scraped through with just 2.3 per cent (3,207 votes) after trailing in the initial rounds of counting.
Karawal Nagar also saw a close contest where BJP’s Mohan Bisht defeated AAP’s hopeful Durgesh Pathak by 4.2 per cent of votes polled. It is the same constituency, where Kapil Mishra (now in BJP) won from AAP in 2015 by a big margin of 26 per cent (44,431 votes). However, this time, Mishra contested from Model Town only to be trounced by AAP’s incumbent MLA Akhilesh Pati Tripathi by a margin of more than 11,000 votes.
Similarly, in other constituencies like Adarsh Nagar, Kasturba Nagar, Chhatarpur, Kirari and Badarpur where AAP won by more than 15 per cent margins in 2015 saw close fights. In these seats, AAP was able to retain all (by a close margin of around 3 per cent or less) except Badarpur, where they lost to BJP by a margin of 2 per cent.
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines