Delhi Election 2020:
Aam Admi Party’s Raghav Chadha cruised to an easy win in central Delhi’s Rajinder Nagar today as he defeated his nearest rival – BJP veteran Sardar RP Singh – by 20,000 votes. The 31-year-old chartered accountant-turned-politician, attacked the BJP as the AAP headed for a massive win in the national capital where counting of votes for assembly polls began this morning.
“People of Delhi have proven that Delhi’s son Arvind Kejriwal isn’t a terrorist but a true patriot. He’s working for nation building. The work he’s doing is what constitutes patriotism. What BJP is doing, isn’t patriotism,” he said, hitting out at the BJP leaders – Prakash Javadekar and Parvesh Varma – who had called Mr Kejriwal a “terrorist” during acrimonious election campaign for assembly polls.
AAP’s Raghav Chadha Cruises To An Easy Win, Attacks BJP
Mr Chadha also thanked his party workers. “I congratulate workers of AAP who are its backbone, party’s real power.”
This is the first time that the AAP leader – known for his wit – contested an assembly election. He had last year unsuccessfully contested the Lok Sabha election from South Delhi.
One of AAP’s 39 star campaigners, Mr Chadha had sought votes as ”Rajinder Nagar ka beta (the son of Rajinder Nagar”, inspired by AAP chief Arvind Kejriwal who said he was “Delhi ka beta (Delhi’s son) during the campaign. Ahead of the voting last week, Mr Chadha had said that Delhi election’s narrative is “Kejriwal vs Who”.
During his campaign, Mr Chadha had drawn support of a different kind and received over a dozen marriage proposals.
“From Pandav Nagar to Karol Bagh, these are the areas where I have lived all my life. I have been given an opportunity to make my birthplace my workplace,” he had said ahead of the assembly election last week, counting irregular and dirty water supply in the area as poll issues. Mr Chadha had promised to install smog towers to fight air pollution.
BJP MP Parvesh Verma was the first to use the term for the Delhi Chief Minister on January 25, on the campaign trail. He had implied that if Mr Kejriwal returned to power, then “Shaheen Bagh-type” of people will take over the streets. Shaheen Bagh in south Delhi is among the most prominent sites of protests against the citizenship law CAA that critics say discriminates against Muslims.
“We hear instances of Hindu women picked up by Muslim men… no action is taken as terrorists like Kejriwal are hidden everywhere. Should we fight with Pakistan terrorists in Kashmir or with terrorists like Kejriwal,” Parvesh Verma said.
He was served notice by the Election Commission, which had already ordered a four-day campaign ban on him for incendiary remarks.
Mr Kejriwal had expressed hurt at the tag.
“How have I become a terrorist? I’ve arranged for medicines… did so much for the needy. I’ve never thought of myself or my family… am ready to give my life for the nation,” the AAP convenor had said in an emotional reaction.
“I leave this up to Delhi to decide… am I their son, their brother or a terrorist,” Mr Kejriwal had said.
The AAP had complained to Delhi’s Chief Electoral Officer demanding an FIR (first information report) against Mr Verma.
The results of the Saturday voting in 70-seat Delhi will be declared three days later. AAP won 67 seats in the previous election, limiting the BJP to three and the Congress – after its 15-year rule in Delhi — to zero seats.