East Delhi residents voted out two-time Congress MP Sandeep Dikshit and replaced him with BJP candidate and Art of Living leader Maheish Girri, who got 47.82 per cent of the total votes.
Mr. Girri, who got 5,72,202 out of the total 11,96,336 votes, defeated the Aam Aadmi Party’s Rajmohan Gandhi by 1,90,463 votes.
Mr. Gandhi came in second with 3,81,739 votes and Mr. Dikshit polled 2,03,240 votes. The son of former Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit just managed to retain his poll deposit as he got 3,851 more votes than the required one-sixth of total votes polled. Last time, Mr. Dikshit had won by the highest margin of over 2.41 lakh in Delhi.
As counting kicked off on Friday morning, a very solemn Mr. Dikshit said he expected his defeat. “There was anti-incumbency for me as well as the UPA Government. It’s not a BJP wave, it’s an anti-UPA wave,” he said.
The winner, however, was clear that BJP Prime Minister-elect Narendra Modi had an impact on the East Delhi voter. Mr. Girri said: “The country had already chosen the Prime Minister. Today’s victory is for the party and its face is Modiji.”
Though Mr. Girri was an outsider to the area, he said he would “make East Delhi a model constituency of the country, with every inch developed”. He added that the “Sabarmati model” in Gujarat would be replicated to clean up the Yamuna.
Meanwhile, a “relaxed” Mr. Gandhi said he had expected Mr. Modi to form the government. “Now, we will have to keep an eye on him. We owe it to the people of India to hold him to his promises,” Mr. Gandhi said as he looked on at the counting process.
As she sipped her tea at the counting centre, Rama Dhawan, Mr. Dikshit’s aunt, summed up the election battle thus: “The Congress needs to introspect. It has become far too complacent.”