The AAP effect - on both Congress, Bharatiya Janata Party

Written by Pragya Kaushika | Pragya Kaushika | Aniruddha Ghosal | New Delhi | Updated: Dec 9 2013, 20:59pm hrs
AAPIn the days leading up to the elections , the one thing that both the Congress and the BJP seemed to agree on was that the AAP was a non-entity. (Photo: PTI)
In the days leading up to the elections , the one thing that both the Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) seemed to agree on was that the AAP (Aam Aadmi Party) was a non-entity, an annoying distraction. But counting day changed that perception, as both parties realised their mistake the Congress lost 17 of its seats and the BJP 11 to the AAP.

CM Sheila Dikshit lost to AAPs Arvind Kejriwal by 25,864 votes. Three of her ministers also lost to AAP candidates. Education Minister Kiran Walia lost Malviya Nagar to lawyer Somnath Bharti. Health Minister A K Walia lost Laxmi Nagar a constituency hes represented since 1993 to Vinod Kumar Binny. PWD Minister Raj Kumar Chauhan lost Mangolpuri a Congress bastion since 1993 to Rakhi Birla, a former journalist.

We underestimated the AAP. It was a basic flaw, we thought people would vote for the Congress or the BJP. We never realised the extent to which the AAP had capitalised on the discontent of the people, admitted a senior Congress leader.

The BJP lost a number of its traditional seats to the AAP, like Greater Kailash, Rohini, Shalimar Bagh, Shakur Basti, Karol Bagh, Tilak Nagar, Hari Nagar, Delhi Cantt, Sangam Vihar, Trilokpuri and Burari. The Congress admitted an erosion of its vote bank, especially among the urban poor, in constituencies like Kondli, Ambedkar Nagar, Jungpura, Deoli, Madipur, Sadar Bazaar and Seemapuri. The party did not fare well even in the urban middle-class areas like Model Town, Patparganj and Kasturba Nagar.

In hindsight, we should have taken AAP more seriously, said a senior BJP leader, pointing to constituencies like Shalimar Bagh, Delhi Cantt, Rohini, Hari Nagar, Karol Bagh and Sangam Vihar areas where the BJP has won on more than one occasion.