In a near-sweep, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) today decimated BJP and Congress by recorded a landslide victory and is set to secure 66 of the 70 seats in the Delhi Assembly elections, halting the the Modi juggernaut in its tracks.
The AAP has already won 12 seats and is leading in 54 seats as the counting of votes progressed and is set win more than 90 per cent of the seats, a feat achieved only twice before in Sikkim and Bihar. Arvind Kejriwal, the former Revenue Service officer who led his party to a sensational victory, won with a huge margin in the New Delhi constituency where the BJP fielded a Nupur Sharma, a novice, who came second and veteran Congress leader Kiran Walia way behind at the third spot. The BJP's humiliation was complete with its Chief Ministerial face Kiran Bedi losing in the traditional stronghold of Krishna Nagar which was long held by party veteran Harsh Vardhan. The BJP has so far won two seats and was leading in only one more. All its veterans had to bite the dust. The party gambled on Bedi but relied on Prime Minister Narendra Modi's image which still did not work for the party.
In an election that was billed as a referendum on Prime Minister Narendra Modi but rejected by BJP as such, the AAP wave spearheaded by its chief Arvind Kejriwal knocked the two major parties and their veterans from their citadels. In all elections that followed the spectacular victory in the May Lok Sabha polls, the BJP formed governments in Maharastra, Haryana, Jharkhand and emerged the second largest party in Jammu and Kashmir with the highest vote share. Congress, which ruled the national capital for 15 years till December 2013, has been reduced to zero while the INLD was ahead in one seat. Congress stalwart and Chief Ministerial candidate Ajay Maken was pushed to the third spot in Sadar Bazar where AAP candidate was on top and BJP at number two spot. Following the debacle, Maken resigned as Congress General Secretary taking responsibility. The AAP's hurricane march could be gauged from the fact that it polled 54 per cent of the popular votes while BJP got 32.4 per cent and the Congress 9.4 per cent.
In the last elections, the BJP had emerged as the largest party with 31 seats, the AAP 28 and the Congress 8. Kejriwal formed a government with Congress support and resigned after 49 days in February 2014 over the Lokpal issue.