AAP will break 2015 record in 2020, Delhi CM tells party cadre

In his first address to party workers after the party’s drubbing in the Lok Sabha elections in Delhi, the Aam Aadmi Party’s national convener and Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal on Sunday said the party failed to convince voters in the general elections but he believes that in the 2020 assembly polls in Delhi the AAP would break all records.

Kejriwal on Sunday addressed a gathering of party workers in West Delhi’s Punjabi Bagh which was attended by nearly a thousand party workers from across the city.

Many of them were office bearers and members of the party’s block level, ward level and district level units. Some participants claimed they were associated with the party since the Anna Hazare-led India Against Corruption movement in 2011.

As Kejriwal started his speech with “How is the Josh?” (A popular line from a Hindi movie released earlier this year), many in the crowd cheered — some of them broke into a smile, others repeated the line.

On the seven Lok Sabha seats in Delhi, the AAP candidates failed to secure second place. It stood third behind the Congress. Also, three AAP candidates lost their deposit.

The party secured a vote share of 18.10% in Delhi. The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), which won all seven seats got over 56% votes.

The party workers’ convention  Sunday, in the words of the senior AAP leaders such as Manish Sisodia, Gopal Rai and Sanjay Singh who had joined Kejriwal on stage, was a “morale booster”.

“We had fielded the best candidates. But the results were not in our favour. There was no negativity against the AAP. Then why did this happen? Most people told us that this was the election between [Narendra] Modi and Rahul [Gandhi]. This was not Kejriwal’s election,” Kejriwal said, addressing himself in the third person.

He further said, “We failed to convince Delhi residents on why they should vote for us in the general elections. Let’s admit that… But then think about it. It is the AAP government which offered power subsidy, water subsidy, access to good schools, health care and numerous services to the Delhi residents. Had they [the people of Delhi] voted the BJP or the Congress to power in 2015 (year of the previous assembly election in Delhi), even they know that they would never have got these benefits. So, in 2020, be confident that people will vote us to power. My heart says we will break our record of 54%.”

In the 2015 assembly elections in Delhi, the Aam Aadmi Party had won 67 out of 70 seats in Delhi and set a new record. In the same election, AAP’s vote share was 54%. This is the second time the party contested the general elections. In 2014, the party had fielded candidates in all seven Lok Sabha seats in Delhi and polled around 33% votes.

Kejriwal ended his speech by asking the party workers to smile before they leave the venue and start preparing for what he called “battle 2020”.

First Published:
May 26, 2019 23:40 IST

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