AAP national convenor Arvind Kejriwal on Sunday called his party's win in the Rajinder Nagar Assembly bypoll the "defeat of BJP's dirty politics" and thanked the people for appreciating the work done by his government in the national capital. The Aam Aadmi Party's (AAP) Durgesh Pathak defeated BJP candidate Rajesh Bhatia by a margin of over 11,000 votes in the bypoll, officials said.
"All 16 rounds of counting have been completed. AAP candidate Durgesh Pathak has defeated his immediate rival Rajesh Bhatia (of BJP) by a margin of over 11,000 votes," Delhi Chief Electoral Officer Ranbir Singh said. Thanking the people, Kejriwal tweeted in Hindi, "Heartfelt thanks to the people of Rajinder Nagar. I am grateful for this immense affection and love of the people of Delhi. This inspires us to work harder and serve people." "People defeated their (BJP) dirty politics and appreciated our good work. Thank you Rajinder Nagar, thank you Delhi," he added.
Senior AAP leader and Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia also congratulated Pathak and said the poll results show that Kejriwal lives in the hearts of the people. "Many many congratulations to my dear brother @ipathak25 (Durgesh Pathak) on being elected MLA from Rajinder Nagar Vidhan Sabha. Congratulations to all the workers of AAP for the victory," he said in a tweet in Hindi. "In the heart of the people of Delhi, @ArvindKejriwal ji lives," he added.
According to official data, AAP's Pathak polled 40,319 votes, while his nearest rival Bhatia managed to get 28,851 votes. The victory margin was 11,468 votes. Congress contender Prem Lata could get only 2,014 votes in the bypoll. The poll panel is yet to come out with the final voting figures. In a series of tweets, AAP Rajya Sabha MP Sanjay Singh also extended congratulatory wishes for the winning candidate, saying the results clearly show that people voted for the work done by Chief Minister Kejriwal.
AAP leader Raghav Chadha, who had vacated the assembly seat on being elected to the Rajya Sabha from Punjab, said the party's victory in the bypoll is an “affirmation” of the 'Kejriwal Model of Governance' and thanked the people of the constituency for “once again showering love and blessing”. “Best wishes to my brother Durgesh Pathak, as I pass on the baton to him,” Chadha said in a tweet. In a tweet, AAP's Jangpura MLA Praveen Kumar congratulated Pathak for his victory and took a dig at the BJP for the defeat of its candidate, saying the saffron party “lost badly” despite deploying as many as 40 star campaigners, including 10 Union ministers, for campaigning for the party's candidate Bhatia in the by-election
In a tweet, AAP MLA and Deputy Speaker of Delhi Assembly Rakhi Birla said the victory of the Arvind Kejriwal-led party in the by-election is proof that “the people of Delhi prefer the politics of work and not the politics of hate”. The bypoll to the crucial assembly seat had taken place on June 23 with a low turnout at 43.75 per cent. Fourteen candidates threw their hats in the fray, which was largely seen as a battle between a confident AAP and a spirited BJP. Counting of votes had begun at 8 am on Sunday amid tight security arrangements.
(With PTI Inputs)