New Delhi: The results of the Delhi Assembly elections were predicted by many to be a foregone conclusion, with the Aam Aadmi Party predicted to run away with the mandate. But early trends suggest a different picture, with the Bharatiya Janata Party closing the gap and AAP’s margin reducing on several seats. On many seats with VIP contests, there is a close battle underway.
The BJP, particularly, is doing well on a few key seats where the Congress party has fielded its senior and strong candidates, suggesting that a three-cornered fight may have a negative impact on AAP’s prospects. Although the Congress does not have a single candidate in the lead, many of its candidates are posing a stiff challenge.
The seats where BJP is leading in such contests are Model Town and Karawal Nagar in north Delhi, Dwarka and Krishna Nagar in east Delhi and Moti Nagar in west Delhi. There are several other seats, including Muslim-dominated ones like Ballimaran and Okhla, where the BJP is defying expectations, suggesting that the Congress has acted as vote-cutter for AAP.
In Ballimaran, AAP’s Imran Hussain is ahead but the margin is very close and the lead has oscillated between all three parties. In Okhla, BJP candidate Brahma Singh is ahead of AAP’s Amanatulla Khan.
In Model Town, former AAP minister and BJP candidate Kapil Mishra is leading Akhilesh Pati Tripathi of AAP and Akansha Ola of Congress, daughter of Sis Ram Ola, a former Cabinet minister in the Rajasthan Government.
In Dwarka, Parduymn Rajput of BJP is leading Vinay Mishra of AAP and Adarsh Shastri of Congress, another former AAP leader.
In Moti Magar, Subhas Sachdeva of BJP is leading AAP’s Shiv Charan Goel and Congress’ Ramesh Popli. In Karawal Nagar, where the Congress has fielded Arbind Kumar, chairperson of the All India Unorganized Workers Congress, Mohan Singh Bisht of BJP is leading Durgesh Pathak of AAP.
Krishna Nagar is another constituency where the Congress might have impact AAP’s prospects eventually, going by early trends. Veteran leader Dr. Ashok Kumar Walia is in the fray from Congress and BJP’s Dr.Anil Goyal is leading Walia and AAP’s SK Bagga. Walia is a former minister and a four-time legislator.