Congress takes a tumble after promising LS results

AM Jigeesh New Delhi | Updated on February 11, 2020

The Congress ruled Delhi consecutively for 15 years under Sheila Dikshit. But, in 2020, the grand old party failed to save the deposit in 60 out of the 66 seats it contested. The party will have no representative in the Delhi Assembly this time, too.

The party said it will analyse the results and fix responsibility. The Congress’ campaign managers were expecting at least six seats in the election. But nowhere could it secure even the second position. The result was a clear shocker for the party’s high command, too.

During the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, the Congress got 22.46 per cent votes and came second in all the seven seats. It looked like the anti-BJP voters trusted the Congress rather than the AAP during the Lok Sabha polls and it gave confidence to the party machinery in Delhi.

But, after the demise of Dikshit, the Congress took a long time to find a president for its Delhi unit. There were rumours that the party may give a chance to youngsters, but the high command decided to make its trusted hand Subhash Chopra the president. Former BJP MP Kirti Azad, who joined the Congress ahead of Lok Sabha polls, was given charge of election in Delhi. After the debacle, he said he is willing to take responsibility.

In the Dwaraka constituency, the party experimented with Adarsh Shastri — a former AAP leader and grandson of former Prime Minister Lal Bahadur Shastri. But he got just 6,747 votes. In Sangam Vihar, Azad’s wife Poonam Azad managed to get 2,604 votes, while Chopra’s daughter Shivani Chopra got 4,956 votes in Kalkaji, once a Congress stronghold.

Six Congress candidates — Devender Yadav in Badli, Sandeep Tanwar in Delhi Cantonment, Tarvinder Singh Marwah in Jangpura, Abhishek Dutt in Kasturba Nagar, Mateen Ahmad in Seelampur and former PCC president Arvinder Singh Lovely in his Gandhi Nagar seat — managed to save their deposits.

‘Toxic campaign’

AICC in-charge of Delhi PC Chacko said the party respects the verdict of the people. “The Congress lost the election and we accept our defeat with humility and we congratulate the Chief Minister. The fact is that a strong polarisation happened in Delhi,” he said. He denied the charges that Congress votes were transferred to AAP. “Every election is a test of democracy and we lost, we dedicate ourselves to revive the party in Delhi but at the same time we are happy that the most toxic campaign unleashed by the Prime Minister and the Home Minister led by the BJP was defeated by the people of Delhi. That is the great message that the people of Delhi are giving to the whole nation. So, the vicious communal campaign of the BJP was defeated in Delhi in that we are happy and are dead sure that in Delhi, we will work hard and we will come back and that is our decision and resolve,” Chacko said.

When asked whether the leaders will step down taking moral responsibility, the party’s media in-charge Randeep Singh Surjewala said Azad has already taken responsibility and he has conveyed that he is happy to step down. “However, I will like to say such decisions are not taken in press conferences. They are taken in the organisation in a structured and serious fashion. The party is not going to just wish away the fact that we have been defeated. We will rebuild the party from scratch, from the drawing board, not impounded upon our ideology and our work,” he said.

Published on February 11, 2020

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