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Saturday, Aug 24, 2019

Pall of gloom at AAP office as party looks for answers over poor show in MCD elections

MCD election results: As AAP heads for a defeat in the municipal elections, the party has sought to put the blame on what it calls faulty electronic voting machines.

delhi Updated: Apr 26, 2017 14:21 IST
Ananya Bhardwaj
Ananya Bhardwaj
Hindustan Times
An almost deserted AAP office in Delhi as results started pouring in.
An almost deserted AAP office in Delhi as results started pouring in.

A sense of despair descends upon the Aam Aadmi Party office at Delhi’s Rouse Avenue as results of the MCD elections pour in. They are aware they have lost the battle but seem to be in constant denial.

Flustered, the party workers are scouting for answers and explanations for their defeat. Their phones are ringing constantly, their defence centred around ‘tampered EVMs’, RSS and goons-backed BJP, echoing in a rather empty office.

Each spokesperson has occupied one room and are sitting before cameras, giving lives. Poll sheets spread across their tables, constantly monitoring TV screens, maybe hoping for a miracle. “There is still time,” a party worker says.

The party workers who were earlier jotting down numbers and doing the math to calculate the margins are now busy managing the media, queuing up for bytes.

“Chain the gate now. We need no more people,” one of them shouts. Two are now deployed at the gate to ensure no more entries.

No one is ready to address direct questions and alleged tampering of EVMs is the only explanation they are offering for the humiliating defeat.

“We have been saying the EVMs are being tampered with since the beginning. The high court and the Supreme Court have also said that they are not full proof. We are not using this as a scapegoat. We know for sure that this has happened. People of Delhi are very smart. They cannot give the power in the hands of BJP, knowing that they devastated the MCD in the last 10 years. There is no single achievement,” AAP spokesperson Ashutosh says.

“On the other hand, the AAP government has worked a lot in the health and education sectors. It reduced water and electricity tariffs. We did not lack anywhere as far as work was concerned,” he adds.

A deserted AAP office on Wednesday. The BJP is set to win Delhi’s municipal elections.
A deserted AAP office on Wednesday. The BJP is set to win Delhi’s municipal elections.

Raghav Chaddha backs his argument. “We are not blaming EVMs because we lost. We had been arguing this for a long time now. We have just been proven right.”

Asked whether the mandate is a referendum on Kejriwal, Chaddha says, “If this is a referendum, then when Modi lost panchayat elections in his constituency, that too was a referendum? When Shiela Dikshit lost MCD despite being in power, that too was a referendum? This is a wrong analogy.”

Breaking the momentum, a person barges inside the office, claiming to be one of the founding members of the party. He is angry. Disheartened by the loss. He claims he was not given a ticket to fight the elections and he accuses the party of being dictatorial.

“When the party was founded, I was a core member. I held meetings at my house, fed these people and now they are no letting me enter their office. They lost because of their attitude. They take decisions among themselves. I joined them because they said it will be a part of the people. Who is to be blamed for this loss now? I’m pained. I will sir on dharna,” he says.

No one has the time to lend an ear to the man. He is shunned and asked to leave.

“Do you think they (AAP workers) have time for all this? They are all busy on TV. Please leave and come after this settles down,” the guard tells him.

First Published: Apr 26, 2017 14:19 IST

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