- Arvind Kejriwal's AAP placed third in Delhi by-election
- Delhi's local elections coming up later this month
- This result not an indicator of how AAP will perform in those, he says
Yesterday, AAP was such a poor third in the by-election that its candidate lost his deposit. The BJP won the seat, the Congress was runner-up. AAP's result was used by both parties to predict a crash-and-burn outcome for Mr Kejriwal in the municipal elections in the capital scheduled for the 23rd. "This is not a trailer," said Mr Kejriwal, referring to the by-election and claiming that AAP was punished because people were upset that the legislator in the constituency that voted, Rajouri Garden, had been moved to contest the recent election in Punjab.
The local elections on the 23rd will measure his popularity mid-way through his term. In 2015, AAP, a political novice, pulled off a win of startling proportion, losing just three seats in Delhi. Of late, the party has been bruised by its inability to win Punjab, where Mr Kejriwal led an extensive campaign, and by a series of indictments for allegedly going rogue on basic guidelines and processes required of the government. Mr Kejriwal has pointed out that the verdicts against him have been delivered by committees created by the centre, which he has long accused of plotting to destabilize him.
Through these scandals, Mr Kejriwal has kept up a campaign attacking the Election Commission for allowing voting machines to be rigged in Punjab, the only explanation, he says, for his defeat there. "The Commission is pulling out all stops to help the BJP win," he repeated today. "I am an engineer from IIT... I can tell you 10 ways in which EVMs (Electronic Voting Machines) can be tampered," he said, challenging the Commission which has said that voting machines cannot be gamed, a premise it hopes to prove through a 10-day open-to-the-public hackathon next month in Delhi.
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