The bypoll result in Bawana Assembly seat, one of the largest in Delhi in terms of number of electors, have a clear message for Delhi's three major political parties - the ruling AAP, the BJP and the Congress as all of them had exuded confidence of winning the seat.
Bawana bypoll was being seen as a barometer of political influence in Delhi. According to the latest data on Election Commission website, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) has registered the much-needed victory on this seat. Eight candidates were in the fray but the main battle was among the AAP, the BJP and the Congress.
Let's have a look at some reasons which suggest why no one is winner in Bawana bypoll:
The AAP has received 59,886 (45.4%) votes and won the Bawana seat again. The BJP has got 35,834 (27.1%) votes and secured second place. The Congress, which was leading in early trends, lost the pace and went to number three with 31,919 (24.2%) votes.
In 2015 assembly polls, AAP had got 1,08,928 (57.91) votes. The BJP had received 58,371 (31.40%) votes. The Congress had got 14,846 (7.87%) votes.
1. Massive 16.83% drop in polling percentage
On August 23, polling for the bye-election for Bawana seat saw 45% voter turnout.
It was much lower than during the 2015 Assembly elections which had recorded 61.83% polling.
Despite massive campaigning by all three political parties, the voters in Bawana constituency didn't show their interest in the bypoll.
The officials conjectured that multiple elections taking place in the city in quick succession could be a factor for the low turnout in Bawana, adding that voter turnout is "generally low" in bypolls.
2. Why Congress lost a 'golden' chance, again
In the 70-member Delhi Assembly, the AAP has 65 MLAs, the BJP four, while Congress was hoping to open its account in the House by winning this seat.
During the early hours of counting, the Congress party took lead and state chief Ajay Maken posted a tweet also.
#Bawana— Ajay Maken (@ajaymaken) August 28, 2017
COUNTING 11th Round Total Vote
WE ARE LEADING
AAP - 20785
But, the party lost its leading trend and came to second, and then third place in the 'battle of prestige' when the final results were announced.
However, the Delhi Congress leaders have a reason to celebrate as more than 31,000 votes in Bawana. From nowhere in the 2015 assembly elections, the party managed to get scond position in Rajaouri Garden and close to second place in Bawana bypoll.
Ajay Maken again posted tweets to highlight the gain by Congress.
3. Why BJP should be worried, now
In the Rajouri Garden bypoll held earlier this year, the BJP had wrested the seat from the AAP while the Congress had finished second.
For Bawana bypoll, the BJP had fielded Ved Prakash who had won from the constituency in the 2015 elections as an AAP candidate.
He had resigned from Assembly membership and joined the BJP in March this year, necessitating the bypoll.
The BJP had got 58,371 votes in the 2015 assembly election, but the numbers of votes have gone down to 35,834 votes in 2017 bypoll.
For the BJP, the Bawana defeat came just four months after its massive victory in the municipal polls and a sweep of the Rajouri Garden bypolls.
Delhi BJP chief Manoj Tiwari, while responding after defeat in Bawana, said he would analyse why the party failed to win the election
"We should learn from our failures and we will certainly take it as a lesson,” he said.
4. Why AAP shouldn't celebrate Bawana victory
In the 2015 Assembly election, the AAP candidate had received more than 1 lakh votes to win the Bawana seat with a margin of 50,000 votes. The BJP was at distant second and lost the poll with a margin of 27% votes.
In 2017 Bawana polls, the AAP got 59,886 votes - just 24,052 votes more than BJP.
The AAP has won this seat again, but it has lost almost 50,000 votes in just two years in the constituency. The Bawana victory may be good for the party, but the voting pattern in Delhi indicate the 'AAP voters' are going back to Congress.
There are 2.94 lakh voters in Bawana, including 1,64,114 males, 1,30,143 females and 25 third gender voters.
The BJP's defeat in Bawana just four months after its massive victory in MCD elections and one-sided win in Rajouri Garden bypolls is almost like a U-turn by voters in Delhi. For the BJP, the road ahead gets much more difficult from here, and the party needs to work hard and expand its support base in Delhi.
The Congress's hopes to regain some lost ground in its erstwhile turf were also dashed in Bawana. The party will have to work more to get the support it enjoyed during Sheila Dikshit's rule in Delhi.
The AAP may celebrate the victory in Bawana, but the party strategists know that this poll victory is not enough, and they will have to work hard to get the same results in the upcoming elections also.
The views expressed in this article are those of the author.