BJP wins Rajouri Garden by-election

The ruling Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) in Delhi - where it won 67 out of 70 assembly seats in the 2015 elections - suffered a humiliating defeat in Rajouri Garden assembly constituency and figured at a distant third after the BJP and the Congress.

BJP nominee Shivnarayan Singh defeated Congress' candidate Savitri Singh from the seat in Umaria district by 25,476 votes, an election official said.

Local issues have become the core focus of the party that is working towards making an inroads into Delhi municipal corporation. Journalist-turned-AAP politician Jarnail Singh, infamous for throwing a shoe at P. Chidambaram in 2009 for his alleged failure to bring the perpetrators of 1984 anti-Sikh pogrom to task, took on political heavyweight and Shiromani Akali Dal (Badal) candidate Manjinder Singh Sirsa.

The Rajouri seat was held by Aam Aadmi Party's (AAP's) Jarnail Singh, who resigned to fight in Punjab assembly elections.

The AAP leadership in Delhi has blamed Jarnail Singh for the defeat.

In Karnataka, the Congress won both Nanjangud and Gundlupet seats it held.

Swaraj India leader Yogendra Yadav has said that the BJP was waging an "all-out war" against the AAP which is on a "self-destruction" mode.

Some Congress workers and a AAP sitting councillor in South Delhi municipal corporation Sunita Tokas today joined BJP in presence of Lok Sabha member Meenakhsi Lekhi. The Congress also put up a poor show, with its nominee Nabakumar Chanda getting only around 1.3% of the votes.

Also, party leader and former Delhi University Students'Union president Manoj Chaudhary has been expelled for the anti-party activities, Delhi BJP media in charge PraveenShankar Kapoor said in the statement, adding that all the 21were expelled for six years from the party. With Sirsa's victory, BJP will get its fourth MLA in the Delhi Assembly. However, sources have indicated that it will rope in Punjab minister Navjot Singh Sidhu as "star" campaigner for the Delhi MCD polls.

However, he said it was just a by-poll and that "we will keep preparing for the coming elections".

However, some Congress workers and a candidate of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) in the MCD by-polls past year today joined the BJP.

Maken said that the AAP's vote percentage in the constituency had gone four times down to its last vote share, while the Congress' vote share increased three times to its previous figure. To save his deposit, Singh should have got least 1/6th of the votes polled.

  • Leroy Wright