The News International Team
It was a historic day for both Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) and Congress in Delhi. While the former is headed for a thumping victory, leading on 67 seats, the Grand Old Party, which lorded over the National Capital for 15 years from 1998 to 2013, witnessed an unprecedented rout by not securing even a single one.
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), which was banking on the track record of the central government under Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s image and its chief ministerial candidate Kiran Bedi’s record as a tough police officer and anti-corruption activist, conceded defeat post a lead on only 3 seats. Bedi who was contesting from Krishna Nagar lost to AAP’s SK Bagga.
Addressing a press conference, Bedi said she is thankful to BJP and the party leadership for supporting and trusting her. “I worked with my body and soul. Apologise for not living up to the expectation.”
Thanking people of Delhi for the support, Arvind Kejriwal said the victory belongs of them. “This is a victory of honesty. I salute Delhi,” he said. However, he requested AAP workers not to develop egos.
Elated by the response, AAP’s Yogendra Yadav said: “It is victory of the Aam Aadmi. We predicted 57, but people gave us 60+. We had to stop as democracy needs opposition.”
Prime Minister Modi called up Kejriwal to congratulate him on his win. He tweeted: “Spoke to @ArvindKejriwal & congratulated him on the win. Assured him Centre’s complete support in the development of Delhi.”
Responding to AAP’s victory Shazia Ilmi said: “I left AAP for reasons that still stay. I do not regret leaving AAP. I hope Delhi people do not suffer. I congratulate AAP.”
“The promises made by Modi were not fulfilled so the trust of the people in Modi has decreased. Even today people have trust in Arvind Kejriwal that he will fight for them,” said Anna Hazare, who wished Kejriwal on his victory but cautioned him not to repeat his mistakes.
Meanwhile, taking responsibility for the party’s defeat in Delhi, Congress General Secretary Ajay Maken resigned on Tuesday.
Exactly a year ago, Arvind Kejriwal had quit as chief minister after 49 days in office, over his anti-corruption bill, forcing President’s Rule in Delhi.
In December 2013, AAP had won 28 seats, the BJP 31 and Congress 8. No party was able to get a majority at 36 seats in the 70-member assembly. Over 44,000 postal votes have been cast while over 89 lakh people did so by pressing the EVM button creating a record for Delhi in an Assembly election. Chief Electoral Officer Delhi Chandra Bhushan Kumar said that almost 67.14 percent of the electorate exercised their franchise.