The AAP today blamed “confusion” over poll dates behind the low turnout in the Rajouri Garden by-election, which has been dubbed as a referendum on Arvind Kejriwal government by the opposition parties.
AAP candidate Harjeet Singh alleged that the election commission was “lax” in responding to complaints of EVM malfunction in a few polling stations.
“Many people confused the date with that of the municipal polls. There is a complete lack of awareness. On top of that voting machines have malfunctioned in four to five centres but the election office is taking time to respond. Police is also quite uncooperative,” Singh told PTI.
But he exuded confidence about pulling off a victory, saying that people understand that having an MLA from the ruling party was essential for the area’s holistic development.
A victory in the by-election, results to which will be declared on April 13, would come as a boost to AAP which is hoping to wrest the control of civic bodies from the BJP.
Meanwhile, Congress’s Ajay Maken said that the by-election in Rajouri Garden was a referendum on the performance of Arvind Kejriwal government in Delhi.
For the BJP and the Congress, success in the bye-election would be considered a sign of their continuing relevance in the city’s politics, where the two parties were decimated in the last election.
The Congress, which ruled the city for 15 years at a stretch, is leaving no stone unturned to pull off a victory and register its presence in the 70-member Delhi Assembly.
The seat fell vacant early this year after AAP’s Jarnail Singh quit as MLA to contest Punjab Assembly poll against SAD patron Parkash Singh Badal, only to lose and considerably dent AAP’s chances of holding on to the seat.
(With PTI inputs)