In addition to supporters not turning out in large numbers, anti-incumbency against municipal council members was one of the factors that contributed to the BJP’s defeat in the Rajinder Nagar bypoll, according to senior leaders who gathered in Nariana after the results on Sunday to reflect on the defeat.
Durgesh Pathak of the AAP won the byelection by defeating Rajesh Bhatia of the BJP by a margin of 11,468 votes. Pathak received 40,319 votes compared to Bhatia’s 28,851 votes, with Prem Lata of the Congress coming in third place with 2,014 votes.
Chhail Bihari Goswami from Naraina and Sunita Kaushik from Inderpuri are two councillors who represent the BJP in the assembly district. Paramjeet Singh Rana from the Shiromani Akali Dal represented Rajinder Nagar and ran for office in coalition with the BJP. “We observed anti-incumbency during the campaign against our own council members as well as former AAP MLA Raghav Chadha. A top official present in the meeting stated, “However, it cost us extra because there were other things as well which didn’t work in our favour.
Ajay Mahvar, a BJP MLA and the district’s in-charge official, claimed that only two slogans really mattered in this election. “At first, our catchphrase ‘Sthaniya voter chunega sthaniya vidhayak’ (local voter will choose local MLA) worked. But afterwards, they found success with the AAP’s catchphrase, “Kejriwal ki sarkar, Kejriwal ka vidhayak (Kejriwal’s government, Kejriwal’s MLA).”
Trouble in the BJP unit appears to have been another factor that favoured the AAP. According to a BJP leader, the BJP received many ticket requests from the region, and many of them chose not to take part in the election campaign. “Every party has this issue, but not to the same extent as in Delhi. There is no fear here, therefore people do it openly,” the leader stated.