New Delhi: Arvind Kejriwal’s Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) raced to a huge tally early into counting for the Delhi election, and established a steady lead, but the party’s number two leader, Manish Sisodia, had a tense day in a see-saw battle in his constituency. He finally won by a margin of about 3,000 votes.
“Entire Delhi has voted for the work Arvind Kejriwal did for five years. I am happy to represent Patparganj. There may have been flip-flops but I won in the end. I think for the first time in the country, work in the education sector has won an election,” he said after his hard-won victory.
“BJP tried to do politics of hate. I am happy people of Patparganj were not divided.”
Manish Sisodia was in a close contest with his nearest rival, the BJP’s Ravinder Singh Negi.
For many hours, Mr Sisodia, the deputy Chief Minister of Delhi who held all key portfolios in the AAP government, trailed by a whisker. After several rounds of counting, he was behind his BJP competitor by about 200 votes. The turnaround took place a little after 2 pm.
The BJP’s Parvesh Sahib Verma even used Mr Sisodia’s example to take a swipe at AAP. “If polls were conducted on education, then Delhi’s education minister wouldn’t be losing,” the MP remarked.
For AAP, Patparganj was one of the most prestigious seats, along with New Delhi. The BJP had won the seat in 1993. After that, it became a Congress stronghold until Mr Sisodia won the seat in 2013 and 2015.
AAP is leading in 62 seats with a 52.4 per cent vote share and the BJP is leading on 12 seats with 39.9 per cent vote share. The Congress has scored zero in the second consecutive election.