New Delhi, May 2 (IANS) Call it a coincidence or whatever. Since 1992 by-elections, a party which wins the Lok Sabha constituency, forms government at the Centre.
In fact, out of all the 16 general elections and two by-elections since 1951, a party which won the seat formed the government at the Centre 13 times.
It will now be watched whether or not the constituency follows the same trend this time.
This prestigious constituency, whose electorate is a mix of the elite, middle class central government employees and those from the lowest strata of the society, is the oldest of the seven constituencies of Delhi.
The constituency houses prestigious institutions like Parliament House, Supreme Court, Central Government offices, the official residences of the President, the Prime Minister, all the union ministers, top civil, judicial, military officials and also the diplomatic enclave.
It also has high profile markets like Khan Market, Defence Colony, South Extension, Connaught Place, Green Park, Hauz Khas and Lajpat Nagar.
The Constituency, which came into existence in 1951, always witnesses a high profile contest.
In the 2014 elections, the seat was bagged by the BJP whose candidate Meenakshi Lekhi got 4,53,350 votes (47.02 per cent) votes, while Ashish Khetan from AAP got 2,90,642 votes (30.14 per cent) and Ajay Maken from Congress came third with 1,82,893 votes (18.97 votes).
In the 2009 and 2004 elections, when the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) formed the government at the Centre, the New Delhi seat voted for Maken.
The Congress leader won the 2009 election against BJP’s Vijay Goel by 1,87,809 votes in 2009, and in 2004 he won the election against BJP’s Jagmohan by 12,784 votes.
In 1998 and 1999 Lok Sabha elections, when the BJP-led NDA formed the government at the Centre, the electorate here elected BJP’s Jagmohan, who defeated Congress leader R.K. Dhawan both times. Interestingly the margin of victory both times was around 30,000 votes.
In 1996, when the constituency gave mandate to Jagmohan of the BJP, which emerged as the single largest party in the Lok Sabha and formed a government at the Centre. The government, however, collapsed in just 13 days as it could not muster the required majority on the floor of the House.
Jagmohan, a former Governor of Jammu and Kashmir during the peak of militancy, defeated actor-turned-politician Rajesh Khanna of the Congress by 58,315 votes.
In 1991 elections, when the Congress formed the government at the Centre with P.V. Narasimha Rao as the Prime Minister, BJP leader L.K. Advani was elected from New Delhi constituency.
He, however, resigned from the seat as he had won from Gandhinagar in Gujarat, too. And in the by-election that followed in 1992, the seat was won by Rajesh Khanna who defeated BJP’s Shatrughan Sinha.
Before 1992, there was no such trend, although out of the nine Lok Sabha elections and one by-poll held between 1951 and 1989, such a scenario was witnessed six times.
In the first Lok Sabha polls in 1951, the case was opposite.
While the Congress won the General elections with a landslide victory by bagging 364 of the 489 seats and 45 per cent of the total votes polled, the New Delhi voted for Kisan Mazdoor Praja Party’s Sucheta Kriplani, who defeated Congress’ Man Mohani Sehgal with 7,671 votes. Of the total 1,02,175 votes, Kripalani got 47,735 votes.
In the second General election in 1957, Kripalani again won the election but this time she was contesting on the Congress ticket and her party formed the government at the Centre as well.
However, the constituency saw a by-poll in 1961 where Balraj Madhok of Bharatiya Jana Sangh (BJS) got elected, while the Congress formed government at the Centre.
In 1962, 1971 and 1984 General elections, the Congress bagged both – majority seats at Centre and also the New Delhi Parliamentary seat.
In 1977, when the Janata alliance won the election, Atal Bihari Vajpayee bagged the seat on Bharatiya Lok Dal, which was part of the ruling coalition.
In 1989, Advani won the New Delhi seat on BJP ticket and his party was part of the National Front which formed the government headed by V.P. Singh.
However, when the elections were held in 1967 and 1980, the trend was not the same.
In 1967 and 1980, when the Congress formed the government at the Centre, the BJS and the BJP won the New Delhi seats, respectively.
This time, the seat will see a triangular contest between the BJP, which is in power at the Centre, Aam Aadmi Party, which is ruling Delhi and the Congress.
While the BJP has named its sitting MP Lekhi, the Congress has named its two-time MP Maken and the AAP has named 43-year-old Brijesh Goyal.
The Parliamentary Constituency constitutes 10 assembly seats — Karol Bagh (SC), Patel Nagar (SC), Moti Nagar, Delhi Cantt, Rajinder Nagar, New Delhi, Kasturba Nagar, Malviya Nagar, RK Puram, Greater Kailash — all ruled by AAP.
Karol Bagh, Patel Nagar, Moti Nagar, Rajinder Nagar assemblies were added into the constituency in 2008 when the Karol Bagh Lok Sabha constituency was dissolved. Similarly, Malviya Nagar, R.K. Puram and Delhi Cantt assemblies were added from South Delhi parliamentary constituency in 2008.
(Nivedita Singh can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)