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Bawana Bypoll Results: A morale booster for Arvind Kejriwal?

The Aam Aadmi Party led by Arvind Kejriwal is all set to retain the Bawana constituency in Delhi, giving a much-needed morale booster to the embattled AAP leader.

According to the latest bypoll results, the Aam Aadmi Party is at about 36,878 votes, followed by the Congress Party at 24,648 votes and the BJP at 21,992.

In all, around 1.9 lakh votes are estimated to have been cast in the constituency, indicating that about half of the votes have been counted so far.

The latest results indicate a reversal from the early trend, when the Congress took the lead, with the Aam Aadmi Party following close behind. UPDATE: The Congress party has now been overtaken by the BJP.

BAWANA ELECTION LEADS
AAP{56178} (46.1%)
CONG{29451} (24.2%)
BJP{33046} (27.1%)

The results are expected to give a breather to the Aam Aadmi Party, which had seen its vote share plunge from 47% to just 13% in the Rajouri Garden bypoll in Delhi earlier this year.

It also lost the elections to the Municipal Corporation of Delhi, something it was expected to win given the party’s focus on local issues and its strong organization at local levels in Delhi.

The setbacks over the last twelve months has forced a rethink from Arvind Kejriwal, who kicked out most of the founding leaders of the Aam Aadmi Party and seized absolute power within the party two years ago.

Kejriwal, who more or less ‘pivoted’ from issues such as corruption, governance and development soon after to an anti-Modi, national agenda, was forced to go back to basics in Bawana by the setbacks.

Realizing that his future in politics was at stake, the leader conducted a very local campaign at Bawana, reaching out to the people on a one-to-one basis and giving everyone a hearing.

Gone were ‘national issues’ such as saving secularism and rigging of electoral voting machines by the BJP.

 The shift seems to have helped stop the hemorrhaging of votes seen in the previous elections.

AAP’s candidate, Ramchandra, who hails from a humble background, also seems to have managed to attract and retain much of the support it received two years ago.

Going by the current trends, the party is likely to end up with about 45% of the votes, compared with the 58% votes that it had retained in the 2015 elections.

The bypoll was called after the sitting AAP MLA Ved Prakash resigned to join the BJP.

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