Delhi goes BJP way once again 

Delhi goes BJP way once again 

State police officials walk in the premises at a counting centre on the eve of vote counting day of India's general election (Photo AFP)

BJP on Wednesday once again established its supremacy in Delhi with a repeat of 7-0 tally in the Lok Sabha elections, that saw Congress regaining some ground by pushing the ruling Aam Admi Party (AAP) to third position.

The results are a set back for Arvind Kejriwal-led AAP, as it heads to Assembly elections early next year, with diminished clout in the capital.

All the BJP candidates won by a thumping margin, clocking more than 50% votes in all the seven seats, while the Congress emerged second in five, bringing it to the centre stage of Delhi politics once again after being in the wilderness for the past six years following the emergence of AAP.

For the BJP, the winners were Union Minister Harsh Vardhan (Chandni Chowk), Meenakshi Lekhi (New Delhi), Ramesh Bidhuri (South Delhi), Parvesh Verma (West Delhi), Manoj Tewari (North East Delhi), Hans Raj Hans (North West Delhi) and Gautam Gambhir (East).

While the BJP's celebrity candidates, BJP cricketer Gambhir and singer Hans won, Congress' Olympian boxer Vijender Singh was relegated to third position in South Delhi.

Former Delhi Chief Minister and political veteran Sheila Dikshit too could not lift the spirits of her party with a win, as she lost to Tiwari in North East Delhi.

The saffron party's winning margin improved in all the seven seats, ranging from 1.35 lakh in Chandni Chowk to 4.83 lakh in North West Delhi. The results will be a huge boost for the BJP in the capital, which is going to Assembly polls early next year.

The BJP won three seats in 2015 polls, while AAP had bagged 67 seats, though a couple of MLAs have switched allegiance to the saffron party.

Though it did not win a single seat, the Congress has something to cheer, as it has emerged second in five seats and had a better vote share than AAP, with which it was in a prolonged negotiation for an alliance.

The alliance did not materialise but the victory margins show that even an alliance would not have helped these parties trounce the BJP in the capital.

After its spectacular win in the 2015 Assembly polls, the AAP was seen to be sliding, as it lost the bypolls that followed. It could not do well in municipal polls in 2017 either. On the other hand, the Congress has steadily improved its vote share in the capital.

Last week, Kejriwal himself had suggested that Muslim votes had shifted in huge numbers to Congress. However, AAP's calculation is that this is a trend just for Lok Sabha polls and they would regain minority community's vote in the Assembly polls.