BY ANAND SINGH
New Delhi, Jan 8 (IANS) In 2013 Assembly elections, Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) national convener Arvind Kejriwal trounced three-time Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit in the high-profile New Delhi seat, setting the tone for defeat of the Congress in the national capital.
Kejriwal, who had entered politics after the Jan Lokpal agitation and floated the AAP, challenged Dikshit in the New Delhi seat that comes under the New Delhi Lok Sabha seat.
Riding high on the Jan Lokpal agitation, and CommonWealth Games and power scam charges he levelled against the Congress, Kejriwal defeated Dikshit who was credited for developing Delhi.
In the 2013 Assembly polls, besides Dikshit, Kejriwal also defeated Vijender Gupta of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). While Kejriwal received 53 per cent support, Dikshit could garner 22.23 per cent and Gupta 21 per cent votes.
While the AAP won 28 seats, the ruling Congress was reduced to 8. The BJP won 31 seats.
The New Delhi Assembly constituency, home to bureaucrats and traders, has over 1.44 lakh voters — 79,047 males and 65,461 females, and comprises areas like President Estate, Connaught Place, Pandara Park, Gold Link, Central Secretariat, Janpath, Gole MArket, Sarojini Nagar, Kidwai Nagar, Bhagwan Das Lake, Lodhi Estate, Bharti Nagar, Jor Bagh and Laxmi Bai Nagar.
However, the AAP that formed its first government in the national capital in alliance with the Congress resigned within 49 days alleging that the Congress was not cooperating on bringing strict Lokpal.
In 2015 Assembly polls, Kejriwal emerged stronger against the Congress and the BJP. He defeated Kiran Walia (Congress) and Nupur Sharma (BJP) by huge margins as his vote share increased 11 per cent.
Kejriwal received 64 per cent votes in the seat as his party stormed to power by winning 67 of the 70 Assembly seats. While the BJP won three seats, the Congress scored a duck.
While the Congress, which ruled Delhi for 15 years (1998-2013), is eyeing a comeback, the BJP that has remained out of power in Delhi since 1998 is also trying hard.
In the 2014 and 2019 Lok Sabha polls, the BJP won all the seven parliamentary seats.
The 2020 Assembly polls will prove to be the real test for Kejriwal and the AAP as people will weigh him on the basis of work and fulfilled promises. The countdown has begun — Delhi will go to polls on February 8 and the results will be out on February 11.
BY ANAND SINGH