New Delhi: Delhi’s ruling Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) managed to retain the city’s Bawana constituency, keeping its seat tally in the 70-member legislative assembly at 66. The result of the by-election, a morale booster for chief minister Arvind Kejriwal and the AAP, was announced on Monday.
AAP’s Ram Chander managed to win by a margin of 24,000 votes over his closest rival Ved Prakash of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). Congress candidate Surendra Kumar, who is a three-time member of the legislative assembly, came in third.
The by-poll was ordered after Prakash, who was the AAP member from the constituency in north-west Delhi, resigned the seat and switched to the BJP.
According to election commission, the AAP secured a vote share of 45.4%, the BJP 27.2% and the Congress 24.2%. “Thank you for choosing AAP in the by-poll election in Bawana. Congratulations to all the party volunteers, MLAs and colleagues for the win," senior AAP leader and deputy chief minister of Delhi Manish Sisodia wrote on Twitter.
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The win followed a series of electoral losses for the AAP, which lost the municipal corporation polls and the Rajouri Garden by-election to the assembly. It also performed poorly in the assembly elections in Punjab and Goa where it was in the fray for the first time.
In the run up to elections, senior leaders of the AAP including national convener Kejriwal made multiple visits to the constituency to campaign for the party. In its campaign, the party focused on the work that the AAP’s government had done in rural Delhi.
Bawana, one of Delhi’s largest constituencies, accounts for a large number of rural areas.