BJP sweeps all seven Delhi seats again

Party betters its 2014 vote share, polling over 15% more than AAP, Cong. combined

Published - May 24, 2019 01:46 am IST - New Delhi

Manoj Tiwari, Delhi BJP chief and candidate from North East Delhi, flashes the victory sign at the party office in New Delhi on Thursday.

Manoj Tiwari, Delhi BJP chief and candidate from North East Delhi, flashes the victory sign at the party office in New Delhi on Thursday.

The BJP won all seven parliamentary seats in Delhi on Thursday, repeating not just its 2014 count but bettering it in terms of vote share with an increase of nearly 10%. It tallied 56.60% of the votes polled, up from 46.63% in the previous general election.

Party chief Amit Shah, in his victory speech later in the day, said Delhi figures among 17 States where the BJP’s vote share has gone past 50%.

In terms of numbers, the Aam Aadmi Party and the Congress, which were looking to ally in the Capital, got a combined vote share of approximately 40.63%, which was even lesser than the BJP’s lowest vote share of 52.94% in Chandni Chowk seat.

While five of the party’s sitting MPs — Harsh Vardhan from Chandni Chowk, Meenakshi Lekhi from New Delhi, Parvesh Verma from West Delhi, Ramesh Bidhuri from South Delhi and Delhi BJP chief Manoj Tiwari from North East Delhi — retained their seats, newcomers Gautam Gambhir from the East and Hans Raj Hans from the North West seats registered victories with vote shares of 55.35% and 60.49% respectively.

Mr. Verma also won with a sizeable vote share of 60.05%, even as the closest electoral contest in Chandni Chowk saw Dr. Vardhan, in whose favour 5,09,465 votes were polled, sailing through with a margin of more than 2.28 lakh votes over his closest rival, Congress candidate Jai Prakash Agarwal, who bagged 2,90,910 votes.

Cong. bounceback

Thursday’s results seemed to herald a revival for the Congress in Delhi. The party replaced AAP as runner-up in five seats: Chandni Chowk, East, New Delhi, North East and West.

From 15.22% in 2014, the Congress vote share went up to 22.43% in 2019, registering an increase of 7.21%. AAP, which had a vote share of 33.08% in 2014, notched only 18.15% this time — much of its 14.93% drop in vote share seemingly benefiting both the Congress and the BJP.

Of its seven candidates, AAP’s North East Delhi candidate Dilip Pandey secured the lowest vote share (13.06%) while its South Delhi candidate Raghav Chadha polled 26.35% votes.

AAP insiders conceded that the Congress, despite “zero representation” in the Delhi Assembly, had resurfaced as a force to reckon with in the Capital. This, they claimed, was due to the party’s success in “winning back” a portion of its original vote share — which had gradually eroded and shifted to AAP when it came to power on the back of an anti-Congress wave — over the last five years and “dissatisfaction” with the AAP government formed in Delhi in 2015.

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