Sibal romps home in Chandni Chowk

The winner: Congress candidate from Chandni Chowk Kapil Sibal with his wife after he was declared elected.

The winner: Congress candidate from Chandni Chowk Kapil Sibal with his wife after he was declared elected.   | Photo Credit: — Photo: Sushil Kumar Verma

Devesh K. Pandey

‘I had said I will create history in Shalimar Bagh’

Vijender Gupta does badly in all 10 Assembly segments

NEW DELHI: Proving all speculation of a close finish wrong, the Congress candidate for the Lok Sabha from Chandni Chowk, Kapil Sibal, emerged victorious on Saturday trouncing his closest rival, Vijender Gupta of the Bharatiya Janata Party, by over 2 lakh votes.

Mr. Sibal registered a comprehensive victory garnering 465,713 votes as against 265,003 votes of Mr. Gupta to retain the prestigious seat. Mohammad Mustaqeem of the Bahujan Samaj Party finished a distant third with 26,486 votes.

The Congress candidate established an early lead in all the ten Delhi Assembly segments of the Lok Sabha constituency, particularly Matia Mahal, Chandni Chowk, Sadar Bazar, Adarsh Nagar, Model Town and Wazirpur. Sensing victory, Mr. Sibal’s supporters began shouting jubilant slogans by the fourth round itself.

By the fifth round, the Congress candidate had taken a lead of over 1 lakh votes against Mr. Gupta (235,261 against 134,986), enough for the latter to virtually concede defeat.

Emerging from the counting centre, a visibly disappointed BJP candidate said the opportunity to contest a Lok Sabha election was a big thing for a municipal councillor like him. However, he added, he did not expect to lose by such a big margin. He later attributed Mr. Sibal’s victory to “a sweeping pro-Congress wave”.

The BJP candidate performed badly in all ten Assembly segments, especially in Matia Mahal, Chandni Chowk, Ballmaran and Adarsh Nagar.

The Congress candidate registered the highest lead in Matia Mahal.

Accompanied by his upbeat supporters and family, a relaxed Mr. Sibal entered the counting centre around 11-15 a.m. to be greeted by a large contingent of media persons. “Had you listened to us, you would not have carried wrong stories,” Mr. Sibal told the media.

‘No positive agenda’

Attributing his victory to the party workers, he said: “I had said we will win all the seven seats from Delhi. I had said I will create history in Shalimar Bagh, and I did it. If you work honestly and sincerely, the electorate will be with you. If you cheat and make baseless allegations, you expose yourself before the people.”

Stating that the BJP lost because it did not have any positive agenda for the country’s development, Mr. Sibal said the masses had given a befitting reply to those who banked on negative campaigning. “Until you project a positive agenda, how will the public know about your policies?” asked Mr. Sibal, adding that the BJP kept raising negative issues like terrorism and price rise and targeted Manmohan Singh calling him a weak Prime Minister. “Now the electorate has given its verdict.”

The Congress candidate attributed the party’s excellent performance in the Lok Sabha elections to Manmohan Singh’s image as an honest and sincere Prime Minister, Sonia Gandhi as the person who sacrificed the post of Prime Minister and worked for the party, and Rahul Gandhi as a young leader who took the youth of the country along.

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