Politics

Delhi Polls: All Prominent AAP Rebels Suffered Big Defeats, Congress Turncoats Gained

In Chandni Chowk and Dwarka, former AAP and Congress candidates switched sides to set up interesting contests.

New Delhi: The heavy voting in favour of Aam Aadmi Party during the Delhi elections has resulted in the defeat of almost all its rebels who contested on other parties’ tickets. On the other hand, several Congress leaders who switched to the AAP just before the polls gained, as they rode the party’s popularity to score comfortable wins.

The most prominent loser among the AAP rebels was former minister Kapil Mishra. A member of the India Against Corruption campaign, he was one of the founding members of AAP and was made a minister after AAP won in 2015. But he walked out of the party after levelling charges of corruption against finance minister Satyendra Jain.

Son of former Delhi BJP mayor Annapurna, Mishra then joined the BJP. Though he won from Karawal Nagar in 2015, he was given a ticket from Model Town this year and lost to sitting AAP MLA Akhilesh Pati Tripathi by 11,133 votes.

Another well-known AAP leader to leave the party was its Chandni Chowk MLA, Alka Lamba. After being with the Congress for nearly 20 years, she quit the party to join AAP in 2014 and won the assembly election on its ticket. But as she felt sidelined within the party, she left in September 2019 and returned to the Congress.

She contested from Chandni Chowk on a Congress ticket but lost to former Congress legislator, Parlad Singh Sawhney, who this time switched over to AAP, by a big margin of 29,584 votes.

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Leaving the AAP also cost its Dwarka MLA, Adarsh Shastri, dear. A social entrepreneur, Shastri, a grandson of former Prime Minister Lal Bahadur Shastri, had left his well-paying job with Apple to join AAP. He wanted to change politics.

But though he won the assembly poll in 2015, he could not make much of an impact within the party. And when in January this year, AAP decided to give its Dwarka ticket to former Youth Congress leader Vinay Mishra, who is also the son of former Congress MP Mahabal Mishra, Shastri left the party and joined the Congress, which fielded him from the seat.

However, in the absence of support from the AAP cadre, Shastri finished a poor third. The seat was won by Mishra, who polled 14,387 votes more than Pradyuman Rajput of the BJP.

Another AAP rebel to contest was its former Badarpur MLA N.D. Sharma. On being denied the party ticket, he joined the Bahujan Samaj Party and contested the seat. Though he polled 10,414 votes, he finished a distant third. The seat was won by BJP’s Ramvir Singh Bidhuri, who defeated Ram Singh Netaji of the AAP by 3,719 votes.

Dhanwati Chandela, who left the Congress and joined AAP ahead of the polls, won the Rajouri Garden seat. Chandela defeated BJP’s Ramesh Khanna by 22,972 votes. She was also one of the richest candidates contesting.