Congress is yet to open its account in the 2020 Delhi elections. According to Election Commission trends, the party is leading in exactly zero seats and its vote share at present is 4.3%. The trends are in consonance with exit poll results where most pollsters had predicted 0-1 seats for the Grand Old Party.
The party has also lost its deposit on 63 seats, according to PTI. As per the Election Commission rules, if a candidate fails to get a minimum of one-sixth of the total valid votes polled in their constituency, they lose the deposit.
Only three of its candidates — Arvinder Singh Lovely from Gandhi Nagar, Devender Yadav from Badli and Abhishek Dutt from Kasturba Nagar — managed to save their deposits.
While party’s Delhi chief Subhash Chopra took responsibility for the Congress’s performance, some other Congress leaders were busy celebrating the BJP’s defeat. P Chidambaram saluted the people of Delhi for defeating the “polarising” agenda of the BJP and Abhishek Manu Singhvi said he is “happy to the extent that BJP is not winning it”.
The Election Commission trends show that Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) has won 46 seats and is leading in 16 others. Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is ahead in three seats and has won five as of 6.45 pm. Congress is likely to get zero seats.
In the 2015 assembly elections in Delhi also, Congress had not managed to win any seats and its vote share was 9.65%.
Prominent Congress candidates — Alka Lamba and Arvinder Singh Lovely — are also trailing in their respective constituencies. Lamba, who is contesting from Chandni Chowk, has only gotten 3,032 votes as compared to AAP’s Parlad Singh Sawhney who has over 42,000 votes. In Gandhi Nagar, BJP’s Anil Kumar Bajpai is leading while Lovely is likely to finish third.
Congress leaders have accepted defeat with Chopra saying that he takes responsibility for the party’s performance. Talking to ANI, he said that the drop in the party’s vote percentage “is the politics of polarisation of both the BJP and AAP”.
Congress leader Sharmistha Mukherjee conceded that the party has been decimated in Delhi. “Inordinate delay in decision making at the top, lack of strategy and unity at state level, demotivated workers, no grassroots connect, all are factors,” she tweeted.
Meanwhile, some other Congress leaders are more concerned about BJP’s performance.
Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Kamal Nath, while talking about the Congress’s performance in Delhi, said, “We were already aware of it. The question is, what happened to BJP which was making big claims?”
Singhvi also told NDTV, “I am happy to the extent that BJP is not winning it. AAP’s victory is less disappointing to me. AAP has done some good work in education.”
Congress leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury said the Delhi Assembly election was a fight between “a giant and a pygmy” and AAP is winning it despite the NDA government using all its might to wrest power in the national capital.
“The common people have decided they will choose either BJP or AAP. It’s a vote for the development agenda. The entire government, along with all its entire machinery, had been deployed in Delhi to win this election. From the Prime Minister to grassroots workers, it’s been a fight between a giant and a pygmy and the pygmy has won,” he was quoted as saying by PTI. He made no mention of his own party’s performance.
P Chidambaram tweeted that the people of Delhi “have defeated the polarising, divisive and dangerous agenda of the BJP”. His tweet also had no mention of the Congress party’s performance
AICC Delhi in-charge PC Chacko also said the message of the Delhi polls is that the “most toxic campaign” unleashed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Minister Amit Shah has been defeated by the people of the national capital.
“We lost very badly. We accept our defeat with humility. The Congress will work hard and come back,” PTI quoted him as saying.
The Indian Express noted that a crisis facing the party in Delhi is its dwindling cadre strength. The party, the article further said, will need fresh ideas, an energised local leadership and a more well-oiled campaign machinery if it hopes to play a role in Delhi politics in the future.
The memes on Congress’s performance in Delhi were not far behind.