AAP loses all seats in polls, gets fewer votes than NOTA

The party says it will decide its future course of action after the INDIA bloc’s meeting on December 6

December 04, 2023 02:49 am | Updated 12:13 pm IST - New Delhi

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal.

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal. | Photo Credit: ANI

The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) continued its poor run in Assembly elections on Sunday, failing to win any of the seats it had contested in Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, and Chhattisgarh and securing fewer votes than the NOTA (none of the above) option.

This has been AAP’s performance pattern while contesting polls outside Delhi, with the exception of Punjab, where it swept to power in 2022, and Gujarat and Goa, where the party has opened its account.

AAP, however, asserted that the results are not reflective of the nation’s mood for the Lok Sabha poll even as it congratulated the BJP on its wins in Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh, and the Congress on “a spectacular win” in Telangana.

The party said it will decide its future course of action after the INDIA bloc’s meeting on December 6.

‘Accept will of people’

In its official statement, AAP said it “submits to the will of the people”. “We sincerely hope that the BJP will come through on its promise and provide homes under the Mukhyamantri Ladli Behna Awas Yojana. We also hope it will provide LPG (cylinders) at ₹450, as promised. We demand that cheaper LPG (cylinders) should be provided for the entire nation and not be limited to the three States,” it said.

On its performance, the party said it is in its “formative stages” and is contesting polls in these States to “ensure that our message reaches everyone”. “The BJP lost its deposits on 31 seats in the Karnataka election. PM Narendra Modi himself campaigned in Andhra Pradesh, but the BJP lost all 173 seats and scored less than NOTA. Did this affect the BJP vote share in Gujarat?” it said.

A party insider said AAP has to contest polls since it is now a national party and “it takes time to make inroads”. “All these parties have been working there for a long time,” he said.

“See, we are still a young party and it will take time to spread to other States. We are not like the Congress, which has been fighting elections for 75 years, and still losing. We are growing in other States, but it cannot happen overnight,” a senior party leader said.

‘Cong. losing clout’

Another party insider said the Congress’s underperformance in Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, and Chhattisgarh means that it will not be able to call the shots on the INDIA alliance’s seat-sharing formula.

“Had the Congress won the three States, it would have dictated terms on seat sharing. Now, it will have to listen to its allies and reach a consensus. This will have an impact on seat sharing, not only in Delhi and Punjab, but also in other States,” the insider said.

Another party source said the Congress’s overconfidence was responsible for its defeat.

‘A silver lining’

However, senior party leader Jasmine Shah found a silver lining in AAP’s loss. Alluding to the Congress losing Rajasthan, he said in a post on X (formerly Twitter), “After today’s results, Aam Aadmi Party emerges as the largest Opposition party in north India with 2 State governments – Punjab and Delhi.”

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