AAP Continues Winning Streak In Delhi Seat, Wins Key Bypoll

The Rajinder Nagar bypoll seat fell vacant after Aam Aadmi Party MLA Raghav Chadha, resigned and got elected to the Rajya Sabha from Punjab.

AAP Continues Winning Streak In Delhi Seat, Wins Key Bypoll

This is Durgesh Patha's first election victory.

New Delhi:

The Aam Aadmi Party today lost in Punjab but it continued its winning streak in Delhi with its candidate, Durgesh Pathak, winning West Delhi's Rajinder Nagar bypoll with a margin of over 11,00 votes against BJP's Rajesh Bhatia.

The seat fell vacant after Aam Aadmi Party MLA Raghav Chadha, resigned and got elected to the Rajya Sabha from Punjab. Raghav Chadha shared a picture of himself with Mr Pathak on Twitter saying, "I thank all the constituents of Rajinder Nagar assembly constituency for once again showering their love and blessing on AAP. Today's bypoll victory is an affirmation of 'Kejriwal Model of Governance.' Best wishes to my brother Durgesh Pathak, as I pass on the baton to him."

For 31-year-old Pathak this is his first election victory. In 2020, he had contested from the Karawal Nagar constituency but lost to BJP's Mohan Singh Bisht by over 8,000 votes.

After the victory, Durgesh Pathak visited Rajinder Nagar and greeted his supporters and party workers. He told NDTV, "First of all I would like to thank Arvind Kejriwal. This is a victory of all the work done by him. I would like to thank all the workers of AAP who worked so hard and the public who made a man from humble origins into an MLA."

On being asked about BJP's allegations during the campaign that Mr Pathak was an outsider (in contrast to Rajinder Nagar resident and BJP candidate Rajesh Bhatia) the newly-elected MLA said, "I reside in the hearts of people."

Mr Pathak who hails from UP's Gorapkhpur was a civil services aspirant but got associated with AAP since its anti-corruption movement and is currently the party's incharge for Himachal Pradesh which will go to polls later this year.

AAP Chief and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, who had campaigned for Durgesh Pathak, tweeted to thank the voters and said "People have defeated dirty politics and appreciated good work". The party's official handle also tweeted a picture of Kejriwal feeding sweets to Mr Pathak after his victory.

The bypoll was held on June 23 and saw a low turnout of 43.75 per cent as compared to over 58 per cent in 2020 when Raghav Chadha won with a margin of over 20,000 votes.

The bypoll witnessed a high-pitched campaign with Union ministers such as Piyush Goyal and Smriti Irani campaigning for BJP's Rajesh Bhatia.

AAP leader Atishi today took a dig at such a campaign and tweeted, "The special thing about Rajendra Nagar by-election was that senior BJP leaders helped us and we thank all of them from the heart. You worked for Maa Bharti by rising above party politics, you deserve the most congratulations."

The AAP holds majority in the assembly with 62 seats out of total 70 seats, while the BJP currently holds eight seats.

Delhi's power structure will remain unaffected by the bypoll results but is key in assessing public mood ahead of municipal elections which are likely next year.

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