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BJP’s Victory Sweep: Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) bites dust in their own Constituencies

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New Delhi, April 26, 2017: The BJP’s victory sweep in the civic polls saw most Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) ministers fail to ensure victory for the AAP candidates in their own constituencies.

Riding on the ‘Modi wave’, the BJP won 181 of the 270 wards that went to the polls to storm to power in the three municipal corporations for third term in a row. The AAP with just 48 wards came a distant second with the Congress ending up third, bagging just 30 seats.

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The BJP won 64 of 103 wards in North Delhi Municipal Corporation, 70 of 104 in South Delhi Municipal Corporation and 47 of 63 in East Delhi Municipal Corporation.

Barring Food & Supplies Minister Imran Hussain, four of the AAP ministers, including Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia, conceded ground in their own constituencies to the BJP.

Of the four wards in Sisodia’s constituency Patparganj, the AAP could win only one with the rest all going to the BJP.

State Labour Minister Gopal Rai suffered a similar fate with BJP winning three of the four wards in his constituency Babarpur.

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Tourism Minister Kapil Mishra, who has five wards in his constituency Karawal Nagar, saw only two of AAP candidates winning with the BJP bagging the rest three.

The worst sufferer was Health Minister Satyendar Jain in whose constituency Shakur Basti, all the three AAP candidates bit the dust.

Minister Hussain turned out to be the saving grace for the AAP with two of three wards in his constituency Ballimaran going to his party with the third won by Congress.

Hussain could save his constituency as it consists largely of Muslims.

AAP MLA from Chandi Chowk Alka Lamba too suffered the ignominy of seeing her party candidates losing all the three wards in her constituency.

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Owning up moral responsibility for the defeat, she offered to quit from all party posts. While the others ministers have not said anything on the defeat, Sisodia alleged that Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) were rigged in favour of the BJP.

“Without rigging, such a massive win is not possible,” Sisodia said, reiterating the accusations the party has been raising since AAP’s defeat in the Punjab and Goa assembly polls.

Putting up a brave face and accepting defeat, Kejriwal congratulated the BJP for its victory.

Kejriwal who has been up in arms against the Election Commission as well as the BJP over EVM tampering, however, remained silent on the issue.

While the AAP has continued to blame EVM tampering for its electoral debacle, social activist Anna Hazare blamed his former protege Kejriwal’s “quest for power” for the crushing defeat.

“People gave him a mandate and he got an opportunity to turn Delhi into a model state for the entire country to replicate. But power is bad. Once you sit in the chair, you lose your power of thinking,” said Hazare.

“Instead of working for Delhi, he started thinking about capturing power in Punjab and Goa.

There was no need for him to hurry. But he was in a hurry and people realised that it is power in his mind and not society or the country,” said Hazare and also dismissed allegations of EVM tampering. (IANS)

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Why JDU & BJP Coalition Will Remain Intact

JDU knows that this 15-16% votes is not enough to help the party and for the BJP too, only the 17% votes of upper castes are not sufficient

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Nitish Kumar with Narendra Modi.
Nitish Kumar with Narendra Modi.

By Sagarneel Sinha

There have been lots of discussions among the political circles that JDU led by Bihar Chief
Minister Nitish Kumar is upset with the BJP and trying to send signals to erst allies — RJD and the Congress. This led to speculations that Nitish may once again join the Grand Alliance (GA) leaving the NDA camp. Already, RJD’s new commander Tejasvi Yadav has clearly stated that Nitish led JDU will not be welcomed in the GA. Despite all the odds, if (suppose) GA partners accommodate Nitish, he wouldn’t be the driving force of the alliance as in 2015. Also, Nitish cannot afford to go alone like in 2014 when his party fetched only 2 seats!

Then which is the correct way for JDU? It is to go with the BJP in the upcoming 2019 polls.
JDU’s advantage in this case is the present situation of the BJP. Currently, the saffron party is not in a strong position as the party would be facing anti-incumbency from a strong RJD led alliance in the state. BJP’s traditional voters are the upper castes who account for 17% of the electorate. This votebank is not enough for the party to help to win elections. The main opposition party — RJD still commands over a larger votebank than BJP. RJD is still a dominant force among the Yadavs and the Muslims who account for 31% of the population. It means BJP has to minus the 31% votes and rely on the rest — 69%. Out of these, 16% are the Mahadalits — a large portion of whom generally hail Nitish Kumar as their leader. Also, there are Kurmis, an OBC group consisting of 4% votes — considered as the supporters of JDU. Nitish Kumar himself is also a Kurmi.

Nitish Kumar Invited to Join NDA by Amit Shah After JDU-BJP Tie-up in Bihar
Nitish Kumar Invited to Join NDA by Amit Shah After JDU-BJP Tie-up in Bihar.

JDU knows that this 15-16% votes is not enough to help the party and for the BJP too, only the 17% votes of upper castes are not sufficient. However, if these votebanks are joined together they form around 31-32%. Plus, to gain the extra votes, both the parties have the option to rely on the personal charisma of Nitish Kumar and Prime Minister Narendra Modi. However, there is a power tussle between the two allies to get a respectable share of seats.

This power tussle is because of a strong BJP which earlier used to be a junior ally. The 2014 Lok Sabha elections changed the political scenario of the state where BJP emerged as the largest party in terms of vote share and seats. JDU knows the reality of a new emerging BJP, though it is pushing hard to gain a respectable share of seats for the Lok Sabha elections. Instead, Nitish Kumar has another option — giving the bigger chunk to the BJP for the Lok Sabha elections and the latter playing the junior partner for the 2020 assembly elections if held timely. Given the current situation in the country, in a crucial state like Bihar, BJP can hardly reject JDU as the later still commands over 15-16% votes — a very crucial votebank for winning maximum seats in the 2019 polls. Importance of JDU can also be explained by BJP president Amit Shah’s visit to Patna to have breakfast and dinner with Nitish Kumar. Though in politics there are no permanent friends or foes, so any perfect prediction is impossible. But given the current situation, JDU and BJP parting their ways seems unlikely as both the parties are in need of each other as already highlighted by Amit Shah that the two allies would fight the Lok Sabha elections together. Smiling face of Nitish Kumar was also an indication that the meetings with Amit Shah were fine.