It was a clean sweep for the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in Delhi with the party bagging all seven seats — a complete turnaround from its performance in the 2009 Lok Sabha when it didn’t manage to win a single one.
Riding high on the anti-incumbency wave, the BJP trounced the Congress and the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) in a triangular contest.
The party’s risk of fielding three of its sitting MLAs, including its chief ministerial candidate Harsh Vardhan, paid off on Friday as all three won by a huge margin.
The decision to field the MLAs was a crucial one, as it meant the party had put the Delhi assembly aspirations on the backburner.
But with all the three sitting MLAs — Harsh Vardhan from Chandni Chowk, Pravesh Verma from west Delhi and Ramesh Bidhuri from South Delhi — winning, the spotlight is once again back on the Delhi assembly politics.
One section in the BJP feels this win is a clear mandate from the voters and hence the party should go for a re-election immediately to ensure a clear majority.
A number of senior leaders, however, maintained that their next step would depend on what the Lt Governor decided about the Delhi assembly.
“We will decide on our next move if we get an invitation from the Lt Governor. So far no one has approached us. We don’t have the numbers and from 32, we have come down to 29 in the assembly. So we are not in a position to form the government,” said a senior BJP leader.
Increasing its vote share from 35.19% in 2009, the saffron party managed 46.4% this time round. The party has also improved its vote share compared to last year’s assembly elections where it had managed to get 34.37% votes.
Senior BJP leaders said the party had managed to bring back the middle-class voters in its fold once again, a section of whom had shifted their loyalties towards the AAP.
In what has come as a booster, its candidates performed well even in those constituencies that have a sizeable number of minority voters.
For instance, in Chandni Chowk constituency — which has assembly segments such as Matia Mahal, Sadar Bazar and Ballimaran — BJP candidate Harsh Vardhan secured more votes than AAP’s Ashutosh and Kapil Sibal of Congress.