Published: Sun, March 12, 2017
Science | By Boyd Webster

The struggle will continue: Kejriwal admits humbling defeat in Punjab

The struggle will continue: Kejriwal admits humbling defeat in Punjab

The Congress, which AAP had decimated in Delhi in 2015, surged ahead and is now leading at 77 seats and is certain of a clear majority to form the government. It was good enough that the people of Delhi gave him a mandate basis the promises he made in 2015, that was his opportunity, instead of putting his best foot forward in Delhi, he neglected it and pursued expansion rather than consolidation.

The NDTV poll of polls forecast 55 seats for the Congress in Punjab, closely followed by the AAP with 54 seats. But much to the party's dismay, AAP didn't do well in bothe the states. Whereas, the outgoing Punjab chief minister Parkash Singh Badal was the oldest victor with a margin of 22,770 votes from the Lambi assembly seat. AAP's best bet was Punjab, which had 117 assembly seats for contestation, where Kejriwal could have shown the party;s prowess in running a full-fledged state.

In Goa, with chief minister candidate Elvis Gomes, AAP hoped to put up a spirited fight, but in vain.

AAP leaders had hit Punjab's streets nearly a year ago, with the objective of repeating their victory in Delhi. Sources said at a meeting with Congress workers previous year, he had underscored that the real battle in Punjab was between the Congress and AAP, in which Mr Kejriwal's party had an edge at that point. "Our struggle will continue".

Led by chief minister Arvind Kejriwal, who had been campaigning aggressively in Punjab and Goa, the party had been exuding confidence in sweeping the two states. "We are disappointed with the results". "This was not expected and it's the time to review them", Mishra said.

As the counting of votes started in the morning, Atishi Marlena, Ashutosh and other senior party leaders went to Kejriwal's residence.

Party spokesperson Kumar Vishwas said AAP will contest the Assembly elections in Gujarat later this year and the defeat was a collective defeat of the party, despite Kejriwal being the face of the party. But, today's results indicate that AAP's dream of being a national party is still far off.

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