Delhi Election 2020: When AAP's gamble paid off

Delhi Election 2020: When AAP's gamble paid off

Raghav Chadha, Atishi and Dilip Pandey won from  Rajinder Nagar, Kalkaji and Timarpur respectively.

The Aam Aadmi Party stormed back to power in Delhi by clinching 62 seats in the 70-seat assembly in the recently concluded assembly election. 

In terms of the candidates chosen, Arvind Kejriwal-led AAP government took a gamble when it came to three specific candidates. The gamble paid dividends. 

Who were these three candidates?

Atishi, Raghav Chadha and Dilip Pandey. 

Atishi, who was fielded from Kalkaji, won the seat by defeating BJP candidate Dharambir Singh by a margin of 11,393 votes. 

Chadha registered victory from Rajinder Nagar, defeating his BJP counterpart Sardar R P Singh by a margin of 20,058 votes.

Pandey beat BJP's Surinder Pal Singh and Congress' Amar Lata Sangwan to win the Timarpur seat by a margin of over 24,000 votes. 

Why did I call it a gamble?

A quick look at the incumbent AAP government’s report card in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections has the answer.

Out of the 40 parliamentary seats that the party contested from across nine states, the AAP could manage only one win – Sangrur, Punjab where its candidate Bhagwant Mann beat the Congress’ Kewal Singh Dhillon with a margin of over a lakh.

While the party ignored 15 sitting MLAs, three among the Lok Sabha losers – Raghav Chadha, Atishi and Dilip Pandey -- were given another shot at winning during the upcoming Assembly elections. 

Raghav Chadha

Chadha had replaced Vijender Garg, the sitting AAP MLA from Rajinder Nagar who had won the 2015 elections by around 20,000 votes. Chadha had lost the South Delhi Lok Sabha seat to BJP’s Ramesh Bidhuri by over three lakh votes.

Dilip Pandey

Dilip Pandey contested from the Timarpur assembly seat instead of sitting AAP MLA Pankaj Pushkar who had won with 64,477 votes. Pandey, on the other hand, lost the North East Delhi parliamentary seat to Delhi BJP’s Chief Manoj Tiwari by over five lakh seats. Pandey had even lost his deposit after garnering less than 1/6th of the votes polled.

Atishi Marlena

Coming to Atishi, the Oxford graduate who has been instrumental in AAP’s education policies, was picked in place of Kalkaji’s sitting AAP MLA Avtar Singh who had won the 2015 elections by 55,104 votes. Atishi, who was fielded from the East Delhi Lok Sabha seat, lost to BJP’s cricketer-turned-politician Gautam Gambhir by over four lakh votes.

The party's luck seems to have rubbed off on the three candidate who successfully salvaged their Lok Sabha defeats. 

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