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New Delhi: Delhi chief minister Sheila Dikshit resigned on Sunday after early results of the state assembly election showed that the Congress had been pushed to third position with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) at the first position and the debutant Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) at second position, going by the trend available as of now.

While the BJP has won 31 seats, the AAP has won 28 seats. The Congress party has won eight seats.

“These are historic results. This is not a victory of Aam Aadmi Party; it’s a victory of the people," said activist-turned-politician Arvind Kejriwal, who defeated Dikshit by over 25,000 votes in the New Delhi constituency.

He said the AAP would not be part of a coalition to form the next Delhi government, but would rather sit in the opposition.

The BJP’s chief ministerial candidate Harsh Vardhan won from the Krishna Nagar constituency defeating his Congress rival V.K. Monga by more than 30,000 votes.

“We accept our defeat and we will analyse what went wrong," Dikshit told reporters at her residence during a brief appearance after sending her resignation to Lt Governor Najeeb Jung. “We respect what the people of Delhi have decided and thank them for supporting us for last 15 years," she said.

The Congress leaders privately admitted that Delhi’s results are a surprise to them. “It shows the double anti-incumbency worked against the party. The inflation and the controversies (involving its leaders) have completely damaged the party’s prospects," said a minister in Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s cabinet.

Mint reported on 2 December reported that Dikshit-led Congress would suffer double anti-incumbency and that its prospects would be hurt by the unpopular sentiments against the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government. However, Dikshit has maintained that the Delhi elections were fought on “local issues" and that it was a fight between the Congress and the BJP, with the AAP not being a contender.

Party leaders also admitted the factionalism in the state Congress unit had also hurt the party’s winning chances.

In the outgoing 70-member assembly, Congress has 43 seats, the BJP has 23 and the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) has two.

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