BJP wins Delhi by-poll, AAP stumbles to third place

Kristopher Drake
April 16, 2017

BJP candidate Ranoj Pegu won the Dhemaji assembly by-election in Assam defeating his nearest Congress rival Babul Sonowal by 9,285 votes.

Arvind Kejriwal's Aam Aadmi Party lost its deposit in the Rajouri Garden by-election in Delhi in an embarrassing reverse for the party just over two years after the rookie outfit had swept the national capital. Journalist-turned-AAP politician Jarnail Singh, infamous for throwing a shoe at P. Chidambaram in 2009 for his alleged failure to bring the perpetrators of 1984 anti-Sikh pogrom to task, took on political heavyweight and Shiromani Akali Dal (Badal) candidate Manjinder Singh Sirsa. "Earlier they... lost Punjab and Goa assembly polls and today's (Thursday's) result of the Rajouri Garden assembly by-poll is like the last nail in the coffin for AAP". Sirsa had won this seat in 2013 assembly polls, too, but had lost to Jarnail Singh in the 2015 elections. The BJP retained its stronghold of Bhoranj in Himachal Pradesh for the seventh consecutive term in the bypoll, an election official said. It retained both seats - Gundlupet and Nanjangud - in Karnataka nearly a year ahead of the state elections that would see the BJP making an aggressive bid to dislodge the Congress. But this is only going to make BJP's campaign more aggressive here ahead of the Assembly polls due in May 2018.

In Ater, the Congress' Hemant Katare defeated BJP's Arvind Singh Bhadoria by a little over 800 votes to retain the seat.

The total number of electorate for the civic polls stands at 1,32,10,206, which include 73,15,915 men, 58,93,418 women and 793 voters in the other category.

"Now we need to concentrate only in Delhi and stop all efforts to win other states", an AAP leader said.

Party member and former Delhi University Student's Union (DUSU) president Manoj Chaudhary has also been expelled for anti party activities. Sirsa managed to defeat both AAP and Congress with a massive difference of 14,652 votes.

The party will also take heart from the JMM's win at Littipara in the tribal-dominated Jharkhand, where the Congress had backed the winning candidate.

With the AAP's humiliating defeat in the Rajouri Garden bypoll, Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia on Thursday admitted that people were upset with the party over its legislator quitting to contest from Punjab.

Other reports by Ligue1talk

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