The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), following its lacklustre performance in all 10 Lok Sabha seats in Haryana, has said that it should not be completely written off and that it was a party to reckon with in Haryana.
The AAP candidates — almost all of them were political greenbacks — ended up in third spots in five constituencies in Haryana and fourth in the rest.
If sheer numbers are considered, these five candidates performed better than the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) representatives and trailed only the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), the Congress and the Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) in Gurgaon, Faridabad, Rohtak, Sonipat and Sirsa.
“AAP might have lost on all 10 seats in Haryana but it has proved a point that it has emerged as a potential opponent in smaller states like Haryana where only the Congress and the INLD have been mainly fighting. It’s for the first time in decades that the BJP has made its presence felt in Haryana riding the NaMo wave. AAP has created its own identity here and will be a party to reckon with in the assembly elections. It may not win the majority of the 90 seats but will definitely affect the polling equations,” said Vinod Sharma, a political observer in Gurgaon.
In the Gurgaon Lok Sabha constituency, AAP candidate Yogendra Yadav — he could only garner 79,721 votes as against 6.45 lakh of BJP candidate Rao Inderjit Singh, 3.77 lakh of INLD candidate Zakir Hussain and 1.36 lakh of Congress candidate Rao Dharampal — was ahead of BSP candidate Dharampal who fetched 66,000 votes.
Likewise, the AAP candidate in Rohtak bagged 46,759 votes as against 18,690 of the BSP candidate. The AAP hopeful in Sonipat got 48,590 votes over and above the BSP candidate (24,102), while the party’s point man in Sirsa at 66,844 was well ahead of the BSP candidate (20,750).
Meanwhile, the fate of the Haryana Janhit Congress (BL) party that had entered into a pre-poll alliance with the BJP — both its candidates, including party chief Kuldeep Bishnoi, lost — is still a matter for speculating.
Apart from the traditional power players here and a hopeful AAP, it will also be interesting to observe how the newly floated party of former state minister Gopal Kanda, Haryana Lokhit Party, queers the pitch during the forthcoming assembly elections.