BJP’s Ramesh Bidhuri has taken an unassailable lead over his nearest rival, Aam Aadmi Party’s Raghav Chadha, in South Delhi. Bidhuri had got 4,51,766 votes against Chadha’s 2,18,486, as counting entered the last lap.
South Delhi, at least mathematically, was considered a strong seat for AAP, which polled 34 percent votes in the civic election. A popular face of the AAP, Chadha is a party spokesperson and is often seen on television.
Heading into the election, the 30-year-old chartered accountant said politics of caste and religion would take a ‘back seat’ and the people of Delhi would vote on the issue of development. "I feel caste would not play a role in the upcoming elections. The more any political party tries to divide the people of Delhi, the more they will lose. Dominating factor would be the promises made by the BJP and the Congress," he had said.
For the ruling AAP, Delhi continues to be no-go zone as far as the Lok Sabha elections go. Chadha may have put up a fight but it wasn’t good enough for AAP, which will again draw a blank in the national capital that sends seven members to the Lok Sabha.
Chadha’s Congress rival, boxer Vijender Singh, too, failed to replicate his knockout performances in the poll arena. He ran a patchy social media campaign, criticising the state and Union governments. During a Facebook Live, the Olympic bronze medallist drove to a mohalla clinic long after it had closed for the day, pointed to the lock and alleged that the scheme was failing. When last checked, Singh had polled 83,793 votes.
Singh is from the Jat community while Bidhuri is a Gujjar. Firstpost found that in villages such as Pur Prahladpur and Tughlakabad, the sentiment on the ground favoured Bidhuri’s Gujjar background combined with Modi’s appeal. Jat-Gujjars have clashing interest, so, the probability of Gujjars voting for Bidhuri was high. Of the 42 villages in the constituency, 18 are dominated by Jats and 12 by the Gujjar community but it wields more political influence.
The decision to field a celebrity, who looked clueless at the best of times, backfired for the Congress. Unlike former cricketer Gautam Gambhir, on course to win East Delhi for the BJP, Singh’s appeal was believed to be limited to the Jat community and the core Congress voters, making the contest easy for the BJP.
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Updated Date: May 23, 2019 17:09:32 IST