NEW DELHI: The winning margins of Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) candidates including heavyweights like Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia took a beating even as their party stormed to victory winning 62 of the 70 seats on offer. Sisodia won the seat by the skin of his teeth.
While in 2015 assembly elections he won the Patparganj seat with a comfortable majority of over 32000 votes, this time round his victory margin was reduced to just over 3000. Even Kejriwal, who won the New Delhi seat in the last election by a margin of over 30000 votes had to be content with a victory margin of just over 13000.
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Bhupinder Singh Joon, the AAP candidate from Bijwasan also had a rocky journey home. While he won the seat by over 19500 votes last time, this election his victory margin stood just over 750 votes.
Similarly, Shahdara candidate and Delhi Assembly speaker Ram Niwas Goel won his seat by a margin of 5294 votes while in 2015 it was over 11500 votes.
Experts say that on and off Kejriwal wave, anti-incumbency and constituency demographics played parts in the dwindling victory margin of AAP candidates.
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"In case of Sisodia, demographics played a major part. In 2015, he sailed through riding on an AAP wave but his constituency of Patparganj has a strong base of core BJP voters. This was seen evidently in his victory today," Professor Yashwant Kumar Ranjan of the Delhi University said.
A psephologist who did not wish to be named said that the little anti-incumbency contributed to candidates winning with lesser margins.
"There is no doubt that the work they have done saved them. Had their work not been there, the anti-incumbency would have resulted in their loss. The work that the AAP undertook in the last five years have pushed them across the line," she said.