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Chandni Chowk sees BJP, AAP in neck and neck fight

Monday, 09 December 2013 | Mahender Singh Manral | New Delhi

The Aam Aadmi Party’s (AAP) emergence as a potential alternative and the BJP’s resurgence proved to be the Waterloo for the ruling Congress in the Chandni Chowk parliamentary constituency. Represented by Union Law Minister Kapil Sibal, the Chandni Chowk Lok Sabha constituency has 10 Assembly seats.

Unlike in the Capital’s other constituencies, the Chandni Chowk constituency saw a neck and neck fight between the BJP and AAP, with the BJP walking home with three seats, but losing their bastion seat of Shalimar Bagh and the AAP bagging four seats. On the other hand, the Congress could manage only two seats out of 10.

Only saving grace for the Congress was Haroon Yusuf, a Minister in the Sheila Dikshit Government, retaining his Ballimaran seat by a comfortable margin along with Prahlad Singh Sahni, who retained the Chandni Chowk seat for the fourth consecutive term.

The BJP was victorious in Tri Nagar, Wazirpur and Adarsh Nagar. The party’s Nand Kishore Garg won back the Tri Nagar seat from Congress’ Anil Bhardwaj. Garg and Bhardwaj had won twice each from this seat. The AAP opened its electoral scorecard in the Delhi Assembly by winning four seats — Timarpur, Shalimar Bagh, Shakur Basti and Sadar Bazar. AAP’s 25-year-old crusader Bandana Kumari shocked the political pundits by defeating Ravinder Bansal from the Shalimar Bagh seat. This had been a traditional BJP seat and the defeat of BJP’s formidable candidate by a novice was appalling to many. Sadar Bazar also witnessed an intense battle as fortunes fluctuated till the last round between AAP’s Som Dutt, Congress’s three-time sitting MLA Rajesh Jain and BJP’s Jai Prakash — but it was the AAP that scrapped through by a margin of just 752 votes.

Ballimaran and Chandni Chowk seats too witnessed a seesaw battle, but the Congress candidates managed to retain the seats as the AAP and BJP put up a stiff fight. Even though Shoaib Iqbal, the four-time MLA from Matia Mahal, won in the last round against Congress’s Javed Ali, AAP’s Shakeel Anjum clearly gave him a run for

his money.

In Wazirpur constituency, BJP’s Mahendra Nagpal registered his win over his immediate AAP rival Praveen Kumar by nearly 6,000 votes. Congress candidate Hari Shanker Gupta bagged only 24,750 votes. Model Town results shocked many as another new candidate Akhileshpati Tripati, an IAS aspirant, won the seat by a margin of around 8,000 votes as BJP candidate Ashok Goyal received 30,617 votes. Kanwar Karan Singh, the three-time MLA suffered a humiliating defeat and was placed third.

Shakur Basti, which was considered by many as a sure-shot win for BJP’s Shyam Lal Garg, but AAP’s candidate Satyendra Kumar Jain had established a lead of around 5,000 votes with just about two rounds of counting to go and at last, Jain won by 7,052 votes. In Adarsh Nagar constituency, former Chairman of the Standing Committee Ram Kishan Singhal beat former Industries Minister Mangat Ram Singhal, who was contesting for the fourth time, by a margin of around 10,000 votes.

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