AAP wins Rajinder Nagar bypoll

AAP’s Durgesh Pathak during his victory procession with his supporters

AAP’s Durgesh Pathak during his victory procession with his supporters | Photo Credit: SHIV KUAMR PUSHPAKAR

Durgesh Pathak of AAP on Sunday won the Rajinder Nagar Assembly bypoll defeating his nearest rival — BJP’s Rajesh Bhatia — by a margin of 11,468 votes. AAP managed to secure 55.78% of the votes.

The AAP chief Arvind Kejriwal reacted to the victory saying that the party’s victory was an appreciation of the “good work” done by his party and a “defeat of the BJP’s dirty politics”.

According to official data, Mr. Pathak, polled 40,319 votes, while Mr. Bhatia got 28,851 votes.

Buoyed by the victory, AAP threw a challenge to the BJP to conduct the municipal polls on any day of their choosing.

AAP’s victory comes at a time when the Center and the State governments have been at loggerheads over a range of issues including the arrest of Delhi Minister Satyendar Jain by the ED and the Lieutenant-Governor’s jurisdiction.

Poll after MCD merger

This is the first election in the Capital conducted since the three financially-hit municipalities — North, East and South — were merged into one Municipal Corporation of Delhi and the muncipal elections were postponed.

In his victory speech, Mr. Pathak said, “I want to tell the BJP that the people of Delhi have given up on you. They don’t trust you anymore. They want to see Delhi as a Capital in which every Indian can take pride. I challenge them to conduct MCD elections. Delhi wants to get rid of the BJP completely.”

Mr. Pathak said his victory was the victory of Mr. Kejriwal and the progress he has brought about in Delhi.

Reacting to his candidate’s defeat, Delhi BJP chief Adesh Gupta said, “We accept the mandate of people. Our party workers will work even harder in future for electoral battles. While being in opposition we will keep raising people’s issues. The public is supreme and we will always be eager to serve them and resolve their problems,” Mr. Gupta said.

‘Contest with CM’

Speaking to the press after his defeat, Mr. Bhatia said that the contest was not between two candidates but between him and Mr. Kejriwal. He said that the Chief Minister, who had not visited the constituency earlier, held multiple rallies to secure the seat for his party’s candidate.

Mr. Bhatia alleged that the people of the constituency felt they would lose out on the facilities provided by the government if AAP’s candidate were to lose.

“I come from a humble background. I belong to a small village in Uttar Pradesh. No one from my village has even been elected a Zilla Panchayat Head, let alone being elected from an Assembly constituency,” Mr. Pathak said.

He added that he came to Delhi to prepare for civil services exams. “I joined the Anna Andolan and then became a part of AAP. Today, a common man with a bank balance of mere ₹5 lakhs has become an MLA,” he added.

He said such a journey to politics was only possible in AAP as everyone in the party was “a common man”.

Meanwhile, the Congress candidate Prem Lata managed to secure only 2,014 votes with a 2.79% vote share. “It has been a disappointing loss. We will learn from our mistakes. However, it is wrong to say that we did not put in our best,” a Delhi Congress spokesperson said.

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Printable version | Jun 27, 2022 1:13:55 am |