Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) chief Sukhbir Singh Badal, while congratulating SAD-BJP candidate Manjinder Singh Sirsa for his convincing win today in the Rajouri Garden by-poll in Delhi, said the combine had "demolished" the AAP on its home turf and added that the loss heralded the end of the party as a political entity.
In a statement here, Sukhbir said the Rajouri Garden result was a "referendum" on the policies of AAP in Delhi and had set the tone for the complete defeat of the party in the forthcoming elections to the Delhi municipal corporation.
He also said the most pertinent factor was that AAP candidate Harjit Singh lost his security deposit.
"Former AAP MLA from Rajouri Garden, Jarnail Singh, who resigned from this seat to contest election from Lambi constituency in Punjab, had earlier won this seat by a margin of 10,000 votes. As Rajouri Garden is a Sikh-dominated seat, the severe erosion in AAP's vote share is a clear indication of the party's current popularity among the Sikh community," Sukhbir added.
Congratulating Sirsa, he said all the dreams of the Aam Aadmi Party to expand to other states, including Gujarat, were quashed now.
"AAP, as a political entity, will be finished in the next two years," he claimed.
The Akali leader also thanked the Rajouri Garden voters for sending out a "clear cut signal" that the people were not in favour of the "confrontationist" policies of the AAP.
"Such policies have resulted in a governance paralysis and development has come to a crushing halt," he alleged.
Sukhbir said development could only be a reality with cooperation.
"People have given a clear signal that they do not like Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal's confrontationist attitude towards Prime Minister Narendra Modi. This is also a verdict in favour of the pro-development policies of the prime minister and the NDA," he added.