- Ram Chander beat the BJP's Ved Prakash by more than 24,000 votes
- He said an intense campaign by Arvind Kejriwal and his ministers helped
- By retaining Bawana, AAP now has 66 MLAs in 70-member Delhi Assembly
"Arvind Kejriwal saw me take all manner of abuse silently and I also told him just one thing: Sir, please take a vow of silence, do not criticise anybody. Leave it to God and the people," said Ram Chander. He also said that an intense campaign by Mr Kejriwal and his ministers helped.
Missing from the chief minister's speeches during the Bawana campaign were his trademark attacks on Prime Minister Narendra Modi, with whose central government Mr Kejriwal has been in constant tussle since he became chief minister, over administrative control of the capital.
Mr Kejriwal told the people of Bawana that as the ruling party in Delhi, only AAP could ensure their work was done. "AAP is in power in Delhi and so only we can solve your problems. Neither the Congress nor the BJP can get anything done," he said in campaign speeches as he camped in Bawana on Sundays for weeks.
Mr Kejriwal retweeted a fan on Monday who observed, "Congrats to AAP for winning #BawanaByPoll, proves that AK's new persona is working wonders to gain back support."
In his tweet to celebrate the win, Arvind Kejriwal thanked voters their "stamp of approval for AAP's clean politics and work over two and a half years in power in Delhi."
Ram Chander beat his nearest rival, the BJP's Ved Prakash, by more than 24,000 votes. The AAP volunteer in Bawana was elevated to candidate status because Ved Prakash, who had won the Bawana seat on the 2015 assembly elections as an AAP candidate, defected to the BJP in March this year.
The BJP had counted on fielding last time's winner and Bawana's 30 per cent Purvanchal vote made up of people from UP and Bihar as an unbeatable combination. Its Delhi chief Manoj Tiwari is a popular former singer-actor from Purvanchal and he campaigned hard in Bawana.
By retaining Bawana, AAP now has 66 MLAs in the 70-member Delhi Assembly, and the BJP has four - one more than it had won in the 2015 assembly elections since it had wrenched away the Rajouri Garden seat in a by-election from AAP. The Congress came third on Monday and continues to have no MLA in the assembly. It had won no seat in the assembly election two years.
The Bawana by-election was seen as a crucial test of Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and his AAP's popularity, after its poor showing in the Punjab and Goa elections and then its defeat by the BJP in Delhi civic elections earlier this year.