Congress and BJP to benefit as AAP faces uphill task?

Congress and BJP to benefit as AAP faces uphill task?

The disqualification of 20 MLAs will not have a bearing on its government in Delhi but the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) will have an uphill task when it has to face voters once again in almost one-third of its sitting seats.

For a decimated Congress, it will be an opportunity to open its account in the 70-member Assembly while the BJP with just three MLAs will try to increase its numbers.

At present, AAP has 66 MLAs but one, Kapil Mishra, is rebelling against Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal after his ouster from the Ministry.

Usually a ruling party would have an advantage in a bypoll but it is next to impossible to retain such a huge number of seats in such an election, especially at a time when there are murmurs of discontent in the party over a series of issues, the latest being the selection of two rank outsiders to the Rajya Sabha.

Though AAP has returned to its winning streak in the Bawana bypolls last August, its decimation in the local polls earlier in April and subsequent rebellion led by senior leader Kumar Vishwas had taken a toll on the party.

AAP had returned to power in 2015 after a 49-day stint two year earlier, winning 67 seats but its sheen has been lost following the controversies on office-of-profit, the expulsion of founder members like Prashant Bhushan and Yogendra Yadav.

However, Kejriwal tweaked his functioning by concentrating more on Delhi rather going on electoral explorations elsewhere in the country. AAP's performance in Goa and Punjab elections last year were not to its expectations and there were calls within the party that Kejriwal should devote more time for the capital city.

Kejriwal will also have to counter his one-time confidant Vishwas, who was denied a Rajya Sabha seat, and his supporters who may try to settle scores within the party.

For Ajay Maken who was appointed Delhi Congress chief after the party's complete rout in 2015 polls, it will be an acid test.

Though Congress improved by a bit in these two years, Maken's leadership has not brought a turnaround for the party in the two Assembly bypolls or the local body elections and the latest episode would act as an acid test for the former MP.

BJP also has a score to settle as 2015 results was the first chink in Prime Minister Narendra Modi's electoral run as the party was decimated to single digit.

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