AAP gets a wakeup call after poll defeat

While his rivals claim that his party’s loss in Rajouri Garden bypoll is a wake up call for him, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal appears less bothered.

The AAP convener insisted on Friday that the crushing defeat in the Rajouri Garden assembly will not affect the party’s chances in the MCD elections.

He further claimed that the bypoll defeat was due to local factors.

Speaking to reporters at a public function, Kejriwal said he was confident that AAP would do much better when the city picks councillors for three civic corporations on April 23.

“Our MLA Jarnail Singh left the Rajouri Garden seat to fight the elections in Punjab. He has been speaking out for the Sikh community for a long time. But the people of Rajouri Garden did not like the fact that he left. They were angry with us, and though we tried to convince them during the campaign, it seems they did not get pacified,” Kejriwal was quoted as saying.

The reaction from AAP chief came a day after his party candidate Harjeet Singh forfeited his security deposit, getting only 10,243 votes.

He was way behind Congress candidate Meenakshi Chandela (25,950 votes) and the winner, BJP’s Manjinder Singh Sirsa, who got 40,602 votes. AAP’s vote share in Rajouri Garden dropped from 47% in 2015 to 13.1%.

On Thursday, deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia had also said that the party was defeated as people were angry over its sitting legislator Jarnail Singh quitting the seat to contest the Punjab polls, which resulted in bypolls.

Another AAP leader, Kumar Vishwas, too has given a piece of advice to Kejriwal, asking him to stop listening to his sycophants.

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