The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) suffered a massive defeat in the recently-held Assembly polls in Chhattisgarh with all its candidates losing their deposit. The party, led by Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal tried its luck for the first time in Chhattisgarh polls and fielded candidates from 85 seats, out of the total 90 seats in the state.
In its bid to woo tribal communities, particularly in Bastar division, the party had declared Komal Hupendi, who contested from Scheduled Tribe (ST) reserved Bhanupratappur seat, as its chief ministerial face. However, all candidates of the AAP, including Hupendi who got 9,634 votes, lost their deposits, an election official told PTI. The party bagged only 0.9 per cent votes, less than the NOTA votes, which were two per cent of the counted votes in the state, he said.
AAP's state convener, Sanket Thakur, who contested from Raipur rural seat, managed to get only 1,096 votes. During the poll campaign, senior AAP leaders had held rallies in several parts of the state and targeted the then Raman Singh government.
Commenting on AAP's performance, Thakur said, though his party worked hard at the ground level for five years and raised issues pertaining to people, it suffered a defeat. Thakur, who has resigned from his post taking the responsibility for the defeat said the BJP, which ruled the state for 15 years since 2003, faced a strong anti-incumbency and people were frustrated with its rule.
"People preferred Congress as a better option against the BJP and voted for them," he added. "Despite an undercurrent in favour of the Congress, our party bagged around 1.25 lakh votes in the state, which indicates that people have faith in us," Thakur said. He expressed confidence that his party would perform well in the local body elections in the state.
The Congress registered a massive victory in the polls, winning 68 seats in the 90-member House. The BJP was reduced to 15 seats while former chief minister Ajit Jogi-led Janata Congress Chhattisgarh (J) managed to win 5 seats. Jogi's ally Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) has won 2 seats. The elections were held in two phases- on November 12 and 20.
(With inputs from agencies.)