Congress retains Delhi; Sheila Dikshit thanks people for voting

Congress retains Delhi; Sheila Dikshit thanks people for voting

New Delhi: The Congress party on Monday retained power for the third consecutive term in Delhi, winning 40 seats in the 70-member Assembly in a keenly fought electoral battle.

The BJP, which was hoping to wrest power after 10 years, was left behind by 22 seats till counting for 66 seats were completed.

Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit and all six of her cabinet colleagues were among the successful candidates of Congress.

Dikshit, the Chief Minister for past 10 years, got 39,747 votes defeating BJP’s Vijay Jolly, a one-time MLA, by a margin of 14,078 votes.

BJP chief ministerial face V K Malhotra was among the party candidates who won.

Om Prakash Chautala-led INLD sprang a surprise by winning Najafgarh seat while BSP bagged two seats, Gokulpuri and Badarpur. LJP also won one seat.

“There is no anti-incumbency rather there is always pro-incumbency," Dikshit said as Congress headed for a historic third term in power in Delhi.

“I congratulate the people of Delhi and many many thanks to them for their support and affection for the Congress," she added as jubilant party supporters danced to drumbeats and burst firecrackers.

Soon after the victory, Dikshit met party chief Sonia Gandhi.

Conceding defeat, BJP chief ministerial candidate Vijay Kumar Malhotra said the party’s performance in the elections to the State had not been up to expectations.

“It is our defeat. The results in the Assembly polls has not been on expected lines. We will certainly review why our candidates could not win in some seats that were considered our stronghold," Malhotra said.