New Delhi: Just 10 days ahead of Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) Elections, the Bharatiya Janata Party on Thursday registered a huge victory in the Rajouri Garden Assembly by-poll.
With this win, the BJP has handed a humiliating defeat to the ruling Aam Aadmi Party, which finished a distant third and even lost the deposit.
BJP-SAD joint candidate Manjinder Singh Sirsa defeated his nearest rival Meenakshi Chandela of the Congress by a margin of nearly 14,000 votes.
Sirsa polled 40,602 votes, Chandela 25,950 and the AAP's Harjeet Singh 10,243 out of a total 78,091 votes cast during poll on Sunday, the Election Commission said after the 17th and final round of counting.
In terms of vote share, the Congress staged a turnaround of sorts by getting around 33 percent of the total votes cast, in a jump of over 21 percent over the 2015 Assembly polls.
With the victory, the BJP's tally in the 70-member Delhi Assembly will become four. The Congress does not have any presence in the House.
The seat fell vacant early this year after AAP's Jarnail Singh quit as MLA to contest the Punjab Assembly poll against SAD patron Parkash Singh Badal.
Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia said that Rajouri Garden constituency voters were angry over AAP lawmaker Jarnail Singh`s resignation.
"People in the Rajouri Garden Assembly constituency were angry after Jarnail Singh resigned... We tried to make them understand, but seeing the trends it seems they are still angry with the AAP," Sisodia told reporters outside his official residence.
However, he said it was just a by-poll, and added that "we will keep preparing for the coming elections". He further exuded the confidence of winning the upcoming MCD polls.
Around 47 percent of the over 1.6 lakh electors of the west Delhi seat had cast their vote on April 9.
In the 2015 Assembly Elections, when the Aam Aadmi Party swept to power, the constituency had witnessed 72 percent.
For the BJP and the Congress, success in the by-election was crucial for their continuing relevance in the city's politics while it was a test for the AAP's popularity.