Congress flattened by AAP tornado in Delhi
New Delhi: The AAP tornado, which blew away the opposition in Delhi also had Congress scoring a duck in what is the party's worst-ever performance in the city, where it had been in power for 15 straight years before going out of office just 13 months back.
The Delhi verdict was a shocker for Congress, which had put its best foot forward for the contest by going for a leadership change and fielding its former MPs and inducting a large number of new faces to turn the tide of anti-incumbency, which had cost it dearly in the 2013 Assembly polls.
However, no strategy, including Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi's roadshows to inject some energy into the demoralised party workers and early declaration of the names of its candidates, could work as all its leaders lost badly.
Stung by the humiliating defeat, the party's face for Delhi polls, Ajay Maken, the AICC in-charge for Delhi, PC Chacko, and DPCC chief Arvinder Singh Lovely have all resigned taking moral responsibility for the debacle.
Maken, who was the Congress Campaign Committee chief, finished third in Sadar Bazaar. So was the fate of former Delhi Minister Kiran Walia, who contested against Arvind Kejriwal for the New Delhi seat.
Local Congress veterans fell like ninepins with most of them, including some former MPs and MLAs, finishing third. AAP also made deep inroads among the minorities, setting alarm bells ringing in Congress. In the last Assembly polls, a large section of the community had remained committed to Congress with the result that five of the eight seats that the party managed to win had a heavy presence of minorities. Also, four of the Congress winners were Muslims.
The seats in question -- Ballimaran, Okhla, Mustafabad, Seelampur and Chandni Chowk -- have all turned away from Congress this time.