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EXCLUSIVE: AAP can defeat BJP, Congress in Delhi; Raghav Chaddha says party’s popular base intact

Krishnanand Tripathi
AAP, Aam Aadmi Party, South Delhi Lok Sabha Seat, Ramesh Bidhuri, Vijender Singh, BJP, Congress,

Delhi Elections 2019: The Aam Aadmi Party has fielded its young face Raghav Chaddha from South Delhi against the BJP’s incumbent Lok Sabha member Ramesh Bidhuri. Chaddha is facing a tough challenge from the BJP, led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Amit Shah. He is hopeful that the AAP will make significant gains in South Delhi to defeat the BJP, which has lost the seat only once in the last three decades. The AAP is working to build on the base prepared by former Aam Aadmi Party leader and its candidate in 2014 elections, Devinder Sehrawat, who stood second with 35% votes to Bidhuri’s 45%.

Thirty year old Raghav Chaddha is a close confidante of Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal. Kejriwal has appointed Raghav Chaddha in-charge of South Delhi Lok Sabha seat one year ago that gave him ample time to work at the grass-root level in the constituency.

For the last one year, I have been working aggressively, I’ve been visiting every nook and corner in my area and I have established a connect with every voter family in my area, said Raghav Chaddha.

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A chartered accountant by profession, Raghav Chaddha, is pitted against the well-oiled election machinery of the ruling party at the Centre. BJP also enjoys the support of RSS cadre that is known for working at the grass-root level for the BJP that is crucial for taking the voters to the polling booths. BJP also enjoys superior resources and political funding for fighting the elections as the party has been largest recipient of electoral bonds that have been issued so far. BJP also leaves behind other political parties by a great deal in terms of receiving political donations above Rs 20,000 that are reported to Election Commission of India.

Well, lack of resources, lack of funds impacts one’s campaign there is no doubt about that. But I personally feel that Aam Aadmi Party’s elections, election after election, are not merely by the party but by the people, Raghav Chaddha told Financial Express Online.

AAP candidate Raghav Chaddha, who has been associated with the party since 2012 when it was part of a movement led by anti-corruption crusader Anna Hazare, hopes to take advantage of his party’s image as a champion of anti-corruption movement in the country.

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Aam Aadmi Party is certainly a political party which has very little resources. Aam Aadmi Party is a political party that is funded by clean money. But Aam Aadmi Party is also a political party that the people of this country wish to contribute towards with their hard earned money in order to ensure the survival of clean politics in India, said Raghav Chaddha who is fighting a three-cornered election against BJP and Congress in the seat.

Raghav Chaddha hopes to capitalise on five year of anti-incumbency against his opponent Ramesh Bidhuri but he will have to face four years of anti-incumbency of his party’s government in Delhi. Aam Aadmi Party that created a history by winning 67 of total 70 assembly seats in Delhi assembly elections in 2015 has suffered several electoral losses and defections since then. The BJP has won all three corporations in Delhi municipality elections held in 2017 by a good margin.

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While the BJP has reposed its faith in its sitting Lok Sabha member Ramesh Bidhuri, the Congress has fielded famous boxer Vijender Singh from this seat. Both Bidhuri and Vijender Singh belong to Jat community which has a sizeable voter base in the constituency. Voting will take place in all 7 Lok Sabha seats in Delhi on May 12 and the results will be declared on May 23.