13 seats that saw the closest contests in Delhi assembly election
The Delhi assembly elections saw a close fight in at least 13 constituencies where victory margins ranged from below 7,000 votes to as low as 753. Outgoing deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia and transport minister Kailash Gahlot were also among the 13 winning candidates with the lowest victory margins.
Also, three of the 46 sitting MLAs fielded by the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) from the same constituencies as in the 2015 polls lost in this election. These include Nitin Tyagi from Laxmi Nagar, Sarita Singh from Rohtas Nagar and SD Sharma from Ghonda.
Besides, the party had brought 23 fresh faces this time, of which five lost, including Ram Singh Netaji who shifted to AAP from the Congress and lost from Badarpur.
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An analysis of poll data suggests there were at least nine assembly constituencies this time where the victory margin was less than 5,000. Margins were over 5,000, but less than 7,000 in four segments.
AAP’s Bhupinder Singh Joon, a fresh face and a lawyer who replaced the party's disqualified MLA Devender Sehrawat, defeated the Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) Sat Prakash Rana by only 753 votes. Senior AAP leaders blamed Sehrawat for the neck-and-neck contest in the constituency dominated by the Jat community. In the 2015 assembly election, Sehrawat had won the segment by 19,536 votes.
“Sehrawat, who joined the BJP only months before the elections, used his supporters against the AAP,” said an AAP member on condition of anonymity.
AAP’s Nitin Tyagi, the sitting MLA from Laxmi Nagar, lost the seat to BJP’s Abhay Verma in a nail-biting contest. Tyagi, who initially maintained a lead from the east Delhi seat, eventually lost by 880 votes. In 2015, Tyagi had won the seat by 4,846 votes.
The third lowest of all victory margins was that of AAP’s Pawan Sharma form Adarsh Nagar. Sharma, a fresh face, defeated BJP’s Raj Kumar Bhatia by 1,589 votes. Next was AAP’s Madan Lal from Kasturba Nagar who won by 3,165 votes.
Among the cabinet ministers in the AAP government, the highest margin belonged to social welfare minister Rajendra Pal Gautam, who won the Seemapuri seat by 56,108 votes. Food and civil supplies minister Imran Hussain registered a victory with a margin of 36,172 votes. Labour minister Gopal Rai won the Babarpur seat by 33,062 votes and chief minister Arvind Kejriwal registered a victory from the New Delhi constituency with a margin of 21,697 votes.
PWD minister Satyendar Jain, who had a cliffhanger of a contest, finally won Shakur Basti by 7,592 votes, while Gahlot also won the Najafgarh constituency by 6,231 votes. Sisodia had the lowest victory margin of all cabinet ministers, winning by 3,207 votes.
The new Delhi legislative assembly will have 16 first-time MLAs, all from the AAP, including Atishi, Raghav Chadha and Dilip Pandey — the trio who had unsuccessfully contested the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.