BJP-SAD’s joint candidate Manjinder Singh Sirsa has scored a huge win in the Rajouri Garden bypoll in Delhi, handing humiliating defeat to AAP, which even lost its deposit.
Manjinder Singh Sirsa bagged 40,602 seats, over 50% of the total votes polled, in a boost for the saffron party ahead of the 23 April municipal polls.
Congress’ Meenakshi Chandela finished second with 25,950 votes while AAP’s Harjeet Singh managed to get only 10,243 votes, less than one-sixth of the total votes polled, and lost deposit.
Ahead of the MCD polls, the comprehensive victory in the national capital will be a major boost for the Bhartiya Janata Party.
With the victory, the BJP's tally in the 70-member Delhi Assembly will become four. The Congress does not have any presence in the House.
Sirsa had won the Rajouri Garden assembly constituency in 2013, and was defeated to AAP candidate Jarnail Singh in 2015. The seat fell vacant early this year after AAP's Jarnail Singh quit as MLA to contest the Punjab Assembly poll against SAD patron Parkash Singh Badal.
Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia said that Rajouri Garden constituency voters were angry over AAP lawmaker Jarnail Singh`s resignation.
"People in the Rajouri Garden Assembly constituency were angry after Jarnail Singh resigned... We tried to make them understand, but seeing the trends it seems they are still angry with the AAP," Sisodia told reporters outside his official residence.
However, he said it was just a by-poll, and added that "we will keep preparing for the coming elections". He further exuded the confidence of winning the upcoming MCD polls.
The voting which was held on April 9 witnessed only 47% of voter turnout, which was very low compared to previous elections. In 2015 assembly elections, voter turnout was about 72%. In 2013 assembly elections, the voter turnout was 68%.
The result of this bypoll is seen as a test for the upcoming municipal poll to be held on April 23, where for the first time, three major parties - AAP, Congress and BJP will be contesting.