NEW DELHI

Sandeep Dikshit wins by highest margin

Record win: Congress candidate from East Delhi Sandeep Dikshit taking out a victory procession on Saturday.

Record win: Congress candidate from East Delhi Sandeep Dikshit taking out a victory procession on Saturday.   | Photo Credit: Photo: Sushil Kumar Verma

Gaurav Vivek Bhatnagar

Congress candidate trounces Chetan Chauhan of the BJP by a margin of 241,053 votes in East Delhi

NEW DELHI: Sandeep Dikshit of the Congress retained the East Delhi Lok Sabha seat by a huge margin of 241,053 votes on Saturday defeating his nearest rival, cricketer-politician Chetan Chauhan of the Bharatiya Janata Party, in a very one-sided contest.

While Mr. Dikshit polled 518,001 votes, the BJP candidate polled 276,948. The Bahujan Samaj Party’s Mohammad Yunus came a distant third securing 45,447 votes.

The Congress polled more than the BJP in all ten Delhi Assembly segments of the East Delhi constituency and Mr. Dikshit secured the highest lead of nearly 50,000 votes in the Okhla Assembly segment which enabled him to win the election by the largest margin among all the seven Lok Sabha constituencies from Delhi.

The trend for the East Delhi seat -- on which the Congress had won by the biggest margin of 106,503 votes in the Delhi Assembly elections -- became clear in the first round itself. As counting for six Assembly segments was taken up, Mr. Dikshit took a lead of 16,248 votes in the first round and extended it to 31,579 votes by the end of round two. After eight rounds, Mr. Dikshit had polled 223,777 votes and Mr. Chauhan 113,495.

At this juncture, Mr. Chauhan, who was trailing by 110,228 votes, went up to Mr. Dikshit in the office of the Returning Officer and congratulated him.

Mr. Chauhan said Delhi was a sensitive place and people here voted on several issues. “There was 12 to 15 per cent extra polling this time and the Congress had through Rahul Gandhi projected a young leadership,” he added.

He also claimed that he had in fact fought against Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit and her government and lost to them. “The loss is not to Sandeep Dikshit. He had not even been to the constituency or opened his office there in the past five years,” said Mr. Chauhan.

“I was expecting a triangular contest but the BSP candidate was not in the fight at all. Had the BSP fielded a strong candidate, the things could have been different,” he added.

Mr. Chauhan said the moment the BSP candidate from North-East Delhi retired from the contest in favour of the Congress candidate, it sent a very negative message among the voters about the BSP and thereafter no one took the party seriously. “The vote got transferred en bloc to the Congress.”

Noting that Congress had traditionally been the party that has got the support of Muslim and Dalits, he said this time too the party has got support of these sect- ions. “Winning and losing is all part of the game,”he quipped.

Mr. Dikshit said he was humbled by the tremendous support from the people of East Delhi. “This is a vote for the good performance of the UPA Government as also for the image of the Delhi Government and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.”

The sitting East Delhi MP said “the result also speaks volumes about the general faith people have in Congress president Sonia Gandhi’s leadership and also about the attraction of Rahul Gandhi and his vision and policies among the youth.”

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