Friday’s results of the 2014 Lok Sabha polls showed that over 11 lakh votes were polled in the South Delhi parliamentary constituency of which nearly 50 per cent went to the Bharatiya Janata Party’s Ramesh Bidhuri. By late afternoon, the Returning Officer had announced the final tally that indicated that Mr. Bidhuri had won by a comfortable margin of 1.07 lakh votes over the Aam Aadmi Party’s Colonel Devender Sehrawat.
While Mr. Bidhuri polled 4,97,980 the tally of Mr. Sehrawat was 3,90,980.
As many as 17 of the 19 candidates including the Congress’ Ramesh Kumar – who got 1,25,213 votes – have forfeited their security deposit not having been able to bring in more than one-sixth of the total votes polled in this constituency. Of the 10 Independents who were in the fray, Ruby Yadav outperformed all of them with a final tally of 56,749 votes.
Despite the AAP retaining the three Assembly seats of Deoli (SC), Ambedkar Nagar (SC) and Sangam Vihar it won during the 2013 Delhi Assembly elections, the BJP led by significant numbers across the other seven Assembly seats. The AAP, however, recorded gains in Palam, Chhattarpur, Badarpur and, most interestingly, Mr. Bidhuri’s stronghold of Tughlakabad.
By Mr. Bidhuri’s own admission nearly 70 polling booths located in the heart of jhuggi clusters in Tughlakabad overwhelmingly voted for the AAP on April 10. It was from this constituency that Mr. Bidhuri has been voted as a legislator three times previously. “I did not campaign in Tughlakabad since I assumed that people will naturally vote for me like they have in the past. I left it entirely to my party workers which maybe made voters think I did not care,” he said. “I will go have tea with people and admit that hamse galti ho gayi .”
In the BJP’s assessment, the party did not cash in on any Muslim votes which either went to the Congress or the AAP. “I won’t say that these votes went specifically to any of these parties. It was just a vote against the BJP,” said Mr. Bidhuri.
AAP’s Col. Sehrawat admitted to a “Modi wave” that helped the BJP cash in on the majority votes. “Where we expected to do well, we only saw marginal increase and where we didn’t expect, we have done well. Also, the Congress did better than we expected with at least 9,000 votes in each seat,” said the retired Army colonel. He admitted that AAP convener Arvind Kejriwal’s exit from Delhi was a point of concern for the voters here.
Meanwhile, the ‘None of the Above’ option on the Electronic Voting Machines seems to have caught the fancy of 4,010 voters with the option clocking in more votes than 13 candidates who were in the fray.