It’s 7-0 – BJP clean sweep yet again

AAP-Cong alliance suffers drubbing though AAP’s vote share rises to 24% from 18% in 2019; national issues figure more prominently
BJP workers celebrate the partys lead in the Lok Sabha elections amid the counting of votes, near the party headquarters, in New Delhi.
BJP workers celebrate the partys lead in the Lok Sabha elections amid the counting of votes, near the party headquarters, in New Delhi.Photo | Shekhar yadav, EPS

NEW DELHI: The BJP, which secured all seven Lok Sabha seats in Delhi in both 2014 and 2019, has repeated its success by winning all seats in the national capital once again.

The Arvind Kejriwal-led AAP, which governs the national capital, formed a 4:3 seat arrangement with Congress as part of the INDIA bloc to challenge the BJP.

Despite contesting the East Delhi, West Delhi, New Delhi, and South Delhi seats, the AAP did not secure any wins. However, its vote share increased to 24.14 percent, up from 18.2 percent in the 2019 elections. In the 2014 general elections, the AAP had a 33.1 percent vote share, but still lost all seven seats it contested.

At the end of it all, Delhiites did not feel that local issues mattered. In the neighbouring state of Haryana, issues like unemployment, law and order, and inflation dominated the discourse. However, just a few kilometres away in the national capital New Delhi, the primary concerns were Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the BJP, and the guarantees offered by the saffron party.

This victory marked a hat-trick—the third time the BJP decisively defeated its rivals, particularly the AAP and Congress. The alliance between these two parties had little impact on the voters. While it may have influenced the winning margins, it did not prevent BJP’s candidates from securing victories.

BJP workers celebrate party’s win in the Lok Sabha elections near the party headquarters in New Delhi
BJP workers celebrate party’s win in the Lok Sabha elections near the party headquarters in New DelhiPhoto | PTI

The credit for BJP’s sweeping victory lies not only in their effective communication with denizens and the persuasive presentation of national issues and Narendra Modi’s promises. The timing of political manoeuvres also played a crucial role. For instance, the Congress declared its candidates late in the campaign. When they did, the selection of outsiders like Kanhaiya Kumar gave the BJP ammunition to attack.

Meanwhile, the AAP’s strategy of highlighting the perceived vindictiveness of the Central government, especially the jailing of Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal in a corruption case, did not resonate with voters. The party’s shifting narrative, using Kejriwal’s bail as an election issue, also failed to gain traction.

Issues that could impact the daily lives of Delhiites, such as water shortages, resettlement issues, garbage, electricity, medical facilities, education, safety, and increasing pollution, were mentioned peripherally throughout the campaign and did not capture the attention of voters.

Chandoliya wins by highest margin

PRABHAT SHUKLA

The ‘low-profile’ BJP candidate from North West Delhi Yogender Chandoliya won by a landslide, polling over 8,66,483 votes and winning by a margin of 2,90,849. This was by far the largest margin of victory in the national capital.

Congress candidate Udit Raj, a former BJP MP from the constituency managed to poll just 5,75,634 votes. He was followed by the BSP’s Vijay Bauddh who polled 11,997 votes. At the same time, NOTA polled 8,984 votes.

The seat, located on the outskirts of Delhi, has a sizable number of voters from the Scheduled Caste community with Jats and Purvanchalis also forming a major portion of the voters.

The BJP had won the constituency with large margins in the last two elections with Hans Raj Hans winning over 60% of the votes in 2019. The BJP had replaced him with Chandoliya, a general secretary in the state unit.

Chandoliya has been associated with the party since the 1990s, having been active as a student leader. He became mayor of North Delhi Municipal Corporation in 2014. In the 2015 and 2020 assembly polls, Chandolia unsuccessfully contested from the Karol Bagh constituency.

Debutant Malhotra gets 52% votes, trumps AAP

IFRAH MUFTI

Harsh Malhotra, fielded by the BJP from the East Delhi seat emerged victorious from the constituency having secured 6,64,819 votes and defeating his rival AAP candidate Kuldeep Kumar by a margin of 93,663 votes.

Kumar secured a total of 5,71,156 votes, 45.18% of the electorate. Meanwhile, the victor debutant Malhotra, replacing the incumbent East Delhi parliamentarian Gautam Gambhir who quit the party and active politics ahead of the 2024 general elections, recieved the support of 52.59% of the voters.

In 2012, Malhotra had been elected councillor from the Welcome municipal ward. In 2015, he was elected as the mayor of the erstwhile East Delhi Municipal Corporation. During his time as mayor, Malhotra was also appointed the Chairman of the Education Committee of municipal body, a post he served for three years. The 58-year-old hails from the Punjabi community, which has a large presence in the constituency. In the 2019 Lok Sabha polls, BJP won the seat by over 3.9 lakh votes.

East Delhi is one of the larger and more populated constituencies in the country, encompassing areas east of the Yamuna, including Seelampur, Shahadra, and Preet Vihar.

BJP’s trader face defeats Aggarwal

ASHISH SRIVASTAVA

For the third consecutive time, the BJP on Tuesday clinched the Chandni Chowk Lok Sabha constituency with its candidate Praveen Khandelwal winning the seat. Khandelwal scored victory by a margin of 89,325 votes defeating three-time MP from Chandni Chowk, Jai Prakash Aggarwal of Congress, securing 5,16,496 votes from the electorate, as per the data Election Commission website.

Aggarwal, 79, the oldest candidate in Delhi, had previously won the Chandni Chowk seat three times in 1984, 1989 and 1996. He, however, lost it in 2019. This time, Aggarwal secured 427,171 votes. The saffron party also registered a marginal increase in its vote share though the difference in victory was lesser this time.

In 2019, the Chandni Chowk seat saw a keen three-way contest between BJP’s Harsh Vardhan, Congress’ JP Aggarwal, and AAP’s Pankaj Kumar Gupta. The BJP received over 52.92% of the votes and won by a margin of 2.28 lakh votes.

However, the BJP had replaced Vardhan after an internal survey suggested that he could lose the election from the seat. Khandelwal is a fresh face from the saffron party who is popular among the community as trade leader.

‘Kamal’ secures ‘Jeet’ by nearly two lakh votes

UJWAL JALALI

Kamaljeet Sehrawat trumped her rival, INDIA bloc candidate from the West Delhi Lok Sabha seat Mahabal Mishra, and headed to the Lower House of the Parliament with a significant margin of nearly 2 lakh votes. Sehrawat, in her debut appearance in the Lok Sabha polls was pitted against Mahabal Mishra of the AAP, his fourth time contesting the parliamentary polls.

Despite a stiff challenge from the AAP’s “experienced” candidate, strengthened by the Congress vote bank, Sehrawat managed to shut her rivals by securing 8,42,658 votes, 55.27% of the total electorate. Mishra lagged behind throughout counting day and ended with a vote count of 6,43,645, 42.22% of the West Delhi polling population. Meanwhile, 8,699 voters chose to opt for NOTA instead.

Leaving the counting centre, Sehrawat expressed her gratitude towards the voters who braved the scorching heat to exercise their franchise. She also said there was little competition from her rivals as they lacked a clear agenda and fought only “for their existence”.

Jr Swaraj follows mom’s footsteps to Parliament

ASHISH SRIVASTAVA

Bharatiya Janata Party’s Bansuri Swaraj, daughter of late veteran leader Sushma Swaraj, defeated AAP’s Somnath Bharti to win the New Delhi Lok Sabha seat by a margin of 78,370 votes. Swaraj, a first-timer, was fielded by the BJP in place of incumbent MP and Union Minister Meenakshi Lekhi.

Swaraj got 4,53,185 votes while Bharti received 3,74,815 votes. The vote share of both the candidates were 53.48% and 44.23% respectively.

Meanwhile, Bahujan Samaj Party candidate Raaj Kumar Anand garnered 5,629 votes with a vote share of 0.6%. He has forfeited his election deposit. The loss is a big blow for Anand, a turncoat. The former minister in the Kejriwal-led cabinet was an AAP MLA and came into BSP folds only weeks before the polls.

In a first-of-its-kind, the AAP and Congress joined forces to challenge the ruling BJP. The loss of AAP-Congress alliance in Delhi also puts a question mark on the effectiveness of the alliance experiment. Delhi BJP credited the third clean sweep to the ‘Modi’ factor.

Bidhuri defeats AAP’s Pahalwan by 1.24 L margin

PRABHAT SHUKLA

BJP’s Ramvir Singh Bidhuri won the South Delhi seat, defeating AAP’s Sahi Ram Pahalwan by a margin of over 1.24 lakh votes. Bidhuri is the leader of the opposition in the Delhi Assembly. Bidhuri won a total of 6,92,832 votes with Sahi Ram winning 5,68,499 votes. At the same time, BSP’s Abdul Basit won 9,861 votes. As many as 5,961 voters opted for NOTA.

Bidhuri was fielded by the BJP in place of incumbent MP Ramesh Bidhuri, who was most likely left out following his colourful remarks in the House.

The Congress fielded candidates in three of the seven Lok Sabha seats in Delhi and the Aam Aadmi Party in four as part of a seat-sharing agreement between the two constituents of the INDIA bloc.

Convener of Delhi BJP’s poll management committee Ajay Mahawar said the winning margin did not decline as they were locked in a direct fight with the INDIA bloc.

“Our candidates have won with comfortable margins even as the opposition were claiming they could not win in a straight fight between us and the INDIA alliance,” he said.

Tiwari trounces Cong’s Kanhaiya by over 1.38 lakh votes

IFRAH MUFTI

In North East Delhi, Manoj Tiwari, a two-time MP, the only incumbent parliamentarian to be given a ticket by the BJP among the party’s Delhi seven, and famed Bhojpuri singer, trumped his competitor in Congress candidate Kanhaiya Kumar by a margin of over 1.38 lakh votes, securing a hat-trick as he returned to the Lok Sabha to represent the constituency for the third time in a row. With this, Tiwari also achieved the remarkable feat of being elected for the third time with a complete term, the only candidate to have done so.

The Bhojpuri singer trumped a fellow ‘Purvanchali’ Kanhaiya Kumar by a margin of 1,38,778 votes, the Election Commission declared. Tiwari secured 53.1% of the votes polled, recieving 8,24,451 votes, while Kanhaiya got 6,85,673, 44.16% votes. 5,845 voters refused to support either of the candidates, choosing NOTA.

In the past two editions of the Lok Sabha polls, Tiwari, fielded by the BJP from the same seat had asserted dominance over the electorate, defeating his opponents by massive margins. Despite the significant minority electorate in North-East Delhi, Tiwari seems to have retained his Punvanchali traction.

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