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AAP toasts giant killers

AAP toasts giant killers
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However, in one of the most stunning defeats in Indian political history, the AAP Convenor Arvind Kejriwal on Tuesday marked a landslide win in Delhi, delivering to BJP their first electoral defeat since its Lok Sabha triumph, and reduced the Congress, that had ruled the Capital for 15 years until 2013, to a virtual non-entity.

Kejriwal’s AAP, when contesting for the first time had defeated former Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit in the New Delhi constituency and had emerged with 28 seats. During the 2013 Assembly polls, the AAP candidates had defeated Congress heavyweights like the former Speaker Chaudhary Prem Singh from Ambedkar Nagar, Subhash Chopra and Dr Yoganand Shastri and ministers like Raj Kumar Chauhan and Dr Ashok Kumar Walia. The same assembly polls had the BJP lose some of its strongholds including Rohini, Shalimar Bagh, Greater Kailash and Delhi Cantonment to these ‘first-timers’.

In this election, AAP has created history as the Congress suffered a complete wipe out and the BJP faced a humiliating defeat, bagging just three seats in Rohini, Vishwas Nagar and Mustafabad.
The Congress suffered an unprecedented washout, with all its 70 candidates losing miserably. The party’s CM-hopeful Ajay Maken faced a defeat by a margin of 51,000 votes as the AAP candidate pitted against him scored 67,507 votes. Maken was found trailing in the third position over all.

BJP’s CM candidate, former IPS officer Kiran Bedi, who was handpicked by PM Modi and BJP President Amit Shah, was defeated by a margin of 1274 votes by AAP candidate SK Bagga. It is known that her selection as CM candidate had created quite a few fissures within the party. Krishna Nagar was being touted as the safest constituency for Kiran Bedi to contest from because Union minister Dr. Harsh Vardhan had represented this constituency five times back-to-back and remained undefeated since its inception into the Delhi assembly and was considered a BJP stronghold. But this move was in vain.

AAP’s first-time candidates made all Congress party giants and BJP big shots like Proffesor Jagdish Mukhi from Janakpuri, Saheb Singh Chauhan from Ghonda, Mohan Singh Bisht from Karawal Nagar and Naresh Gaur from Babarpur, bite the dust. Also, AAP bagged all Muslim-dominated seats like Seelampur, Matia Mahal, Chandni Chowk, Ballimaran and Okhla.

Another five-time winner Shoib Iqbal, who had been for long, considered invincible in the Delhi assembly elections lost to AAP candidate, Asim Khan. Iqbal, when he was first elected in 1993 from the Muslim-dominated Matia Mahal constituency in the Walled City, was a candidate of the Janata Dal.

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