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Three men Kejriwal's AAP couldn’t get better of

delhi Updated: Feb 11, 2015 00:31 IST
Neelam Pandey
Neelam Pandey
Hindustan Times
Delhi vote counting

In the end there were only three.

On a day, the BJP was handed its worst defeat in Delhi, three men stood apart. Vijender Gupta in Rohini, Jagdish Pradhan in Mustafabad and Om Prakash Sharma in Vishwas Nagar withstood the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) whirlwind to give the BJP its only seats in the 70-member assembly.

The three will have the unenviable task of playing the opposition to a 67-member strong ruling party group.

On the social media there was a great deal of interest in the "lucky three" who had lived through the AAP sweep.

For 51-year-old Gupta the assembly scenario is a throwback to his time as a Municipal Corporation of Delhi councillor during 2002 and 2007. He was the lone opposition councillor in the 18-member high-powered standing committee of the unified civic body.

"I was the only opposition member but even then I used to raise my voice against anti-people polices. I will continue to do that now," Gupta told HT.

The former Delhi BJP chief, who defeated AAP's CL Gupta by 5,367 votes, is likely to lead the party in the assembly as he is the most experienced MLA.

He has been a councillor from the Rohini zone. In 2013, he was asked to contest from New Delhi, where he was up against Arvind Kejriwal and Sheila Diskhit, and lost. The move to shift him backfired as the BJP also lost Rohini.

When asked what went wrong for the BJP, Gupta said the shift of the Congress votes to the AAP translated into a huge win for the two-year-old party.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi had addressed two rallies each in Rohini and Vishwas Nagar. Sharma kept his Vishwas Nagar seat by beating nearest rival Atul Gupta of the AAP by 10,158 votes. Formerly with the Congress, Pradhan defeated former party colleague Hasan Ahmed by 6,031 votes.

"Party will analyse the result and it is not the defeat of the Prime Minister or senior leaders. We hope AAP will fulfil promises it has made. We will continue our role of a responsible opposition," Gupta said.