New Delhi, Feb 11 (IANS) Even as the Congress registered its lowest vote percentage at less than five per cent in the Delhi elections, party leaders were busy on Tuesday in touting different reasons for the party’s debacle that came after a bit of resurgence seen in the 2019 Lok Sabha polls.
As per the latest Election Commission figures available, the AAP has garnered 53.65 per cent of the votes polled in the February 8 elections, the BJP 38.47 per cent and the Congress 4.31 per cent.
The Congress, which again failed to open its account in the Delhi Assembly like in the 2015 elections, was unable to even save the security deposits of its candidates in almost all the seats it contested, barring one. Four seats were left for ally Rashtriya Janata Dal of Bihar.
The party’s best electoral performance in the Delhi Assembly elections came in 2003 when it bagged 48 per cent of the votes polled. In 2008, the figure was 40 per cent. In the 2015 Assembly elections, the Congress had got 9.7 per cent votes though it failed to win even a single seat.
After former Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit took charge of party affairs ahead of the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, the party’s vote share increased to 22 per cent compared with the AAP’s 18 per cent even though it failed to win a single Lok Sabha seat.
However, after her demise in July 2019, it only seems a downhill journey for the Congress.
Congress’ Chandni Chowk candidate Alka Lamba claimed that the party lost due to “excessive polarisation” of voters in Delhi.
“The BJP went ahead with its communal agenda and the Congress was a victim of collateral damage,” she remarked.
Another party leader Sharmistha Mukherjee said: “The BJP has divisive politics, Arvind Kejriwal has smart politics, but what are we doing? Can we honestly say that we’ve done all to put our house in order? We are busy capturing the Congress whereas other parties are capturing India. If we are to survive, it’s time to come out of our exalted echo chambers!”
She blamed intra-party rifts for the poll debacle.
A Congress insider echoed the view: “The Congress has been a divided house in Delhi since 2010 when the Commonwealth Games were organised. In the Nirbhaya case in 2012-end, many Congress leaders saw an opportunity to dislodge Sheila Dikshit from the Chief Minister’s post. As a result, the party lost power in 2013 to Kejriwal. Then Ajay Maken took over the Delhi unit leadership in 2015 and the party lost all seats it contested.”