The three constituencies where Congress candidates were able to save their deposits were Badli, Gandhi Nagar and Kasturba Nagar
On February 11, as the votes were being counted for the 2020 Delhi Legislative Assembly election, all eyes were the battle royale between the incumbent Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
Data published by the Election Commission showed the AAP was on its way to a resounding victory -- it had won or was leading in 63 seats -- leaving only 7 seats for the BJP.
But it is the fate of the Indian National Congress, was once a dominant political force in Delhi, that showed how completely the grand old party has lost its base.
The party, led by Sheila Dikshit, had governed the national capital for three consecutive terms between 1998 and 2013. However, this was the second straight election (following the 2015 polls) it failed to win a single seat.
Worse, the Congress, along with ally RJD, is projected to lose its deposit in 67 of the 70 constituencies in Delhi.
According to the election rules, a candidate’s deposit gets forfeited if he or she fails to secure one-sixth (or 16.66 percent) of the total number of valid votes cast in their constituency.
For Assembly elections, candidates are required to deposit Rs 10,000 to the Election Commission while filing their nomination.
While Congress contested 66 of the 70 seats, RJD fought on the remaining four. All four RJD candidates lost their deposits. On the other hand, 63 of the 66 Congress candidates lost their deposits.
The three constituencies where Congress candidates were able to save their deposits were Badli, Gandhi Nagar and Kasturba Nagar.
Speaking at a press conference earlier in the day, Congress’ Randeep Singh Surjewala said that “the people of Delhi have given a mandate against the Congress. We accept it with all humility. The resolve to reinvigorate the Congress party at the ground level is further strengthened today. We thank all Congress workers and leaders for the hard work.”
“We will continue to raise the voice of the people of Delhi as a vigilant opposition. Every electoral defeat is a new lesson,” Surjewala added.
Congress’ Delhi unit chief Subhash Chopra, said, “While humbly accepting the mandate of the public of Delhi, We congratulate Arvind Kejriwal.”Note: Counting in several seats was still underway when this story was published. This story will be updated later to incorporate changes that may happen as the counting process progresses.