It was yet another clean sweep for the BJP in Delhi’s seven Lok Sabha seats, albeit one that far surpassed the success of the 2014 polls. For all the bluff and bluster over the failure of the Congress and AAP in striking a pre-poll alliance “to keep the BJP out of power”, the saffron surge in the national capital saw the party’s candidates polling more votes than those bagged collectively by nominees of rivals.
AAP, which stood second in all seven seats in 2014, lost even that position in five of the seven constituencies. Even Atishi, the high-profile AAP candidate from East Delhi, finished a distant third behind Gautam Gambhir and Congress’s Arvinder Singh Lovely.
Less than a year from now, AAP has to battle not just a more aggressive BJP but also a resurgent Congress in the Delhi assembly polls. The Congress clearly fought for survival this time, fielding warhorses like Sheila Dikshit, J.P. Aggarwal, Ajay Maken and Mahabal Mishra, all of whom lost.
The big surprise came from voters in the Northwest Delhi constituency where singer Hans Raj Hans had replaced Dalit activist Udit Raj as the BJP candidate. Raj, who had won the seat in 2014, rebelled against the BJP days ahead of the polls, calling it an anti-Dalit party, and joined the Congress. But in the seat reserved for SCs, Raj’s rebellion didn’t matter. Hans, an outsider in Delhi, won with the second-highest victory margin—over 5.5 lakh votes.
- 5.78 lakh votes, the margin by which BJP candidate Parvesh Singh Sharma won in West Delhi
- 0 The number of victorious AAP and Congress candidates