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Will New Delhi seat repeat its magic of giving Chief Ministers?

The New Delhi assembly constituency is not just any other seat going to the polls on February 8, but has actually given the capital many of its Chief Ministers.
Will New Delhi seat repeat its magic of giving Chief Ministers?

The New Delhi Assembly constituency was formed during the 2008 delimitation and elected former Chief Minister late Sheila Dikshit that year, and subsequently the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) chief and current Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal twice, in 2013 and 2015.

The New Delhi magic touch is not restricted to just these three terms, as, before delimitation, a major part of the constituency fell under the Gole Market assembly segment, which too had elected Sheila Dikshit twice as the Delhi Chief Minister.

Delhi has witnessed six Assembly elections since 1993 and the city will elect the seventh Assembly next month.

The Delhi Legislative Assembly came into existence with the Constitution (Sixty-ninth Amendment) Act, 1991, and has seen six assemblies till now with 70 members.

While the Congress has ruled Delhi thrice, AAP has been elected twice with one term lasting just 49 days.

The BJP had bagged the first assembly and had three Chief Ministers during just a single term.

Dikshit has been the longest serving Chief Minister of Delhi from 1998 to 2015.

In 1993, the BJP's Madan Lal Khurana, who won the Moti Nagar assembly seat with 54.10 per cent votes, become the Chief Minister. Later, Sahib Singh Verma, who bagged the Shalimar Bagh seat with 65.21 per cent votes took charge of the chief ministership.

Dikshit represented the Gole Market assembly constituency in the 1998 and 2003 elections and after the formation of the New Delhi constituency, she was elected from the seat in 2008.

In 1998, Dikshit defeated Kriti Azad, the then BJP candidate, with 53.95 per cent votes. Azad, who joined the Congress in 2019, came second with 41.66 per cent votes.

In 2003, Dikshit retained her Gole Market seat with 64.44 per cent votes. This time she defeated Kirti Azad's wife Poonam Azad, who got 31.31 per cent votes.

In 2008, Delhi underwent delimitation and a major area of the Gole Market seat was merged into New Delhi constituency.

Dikshit won the New Delhi assembly seat in 2008 with 52.20 per cent votes, defeating BJP's Vijay Jolly who got 33.85 per cent votes.

The political picture of Delhi, however, changed in 2012 with the formation of the AAP.

In 2013, Kejriwal challenged the then sitting MLA Dikshit from New Delhi and won. While Kejriwal got 53.46 per cent votes, Dikshit came second with 22.23 per cent, followed by BJP's Vijender Gupta with 21.68 per cent of the mandate.

In line with the past trend, Kejriwal became the Chief Minister in 2013 for 49 days after which he resigned.

The city went to the polls again in 2015 and Kejriwal retained the seat with 64.34 per cent. This time he defeated the then Delhi BJP spokesperson Nupur Sharma.

For the upcoming polls on February 8, the Congress has fielded Romesh Sabharwal, former Delhi President of the party's student wing NSUI. He has been with the party for the past 40 years. The BJP has named Sunil Yadav for the constituency.

Meanwhile, the New Delhi Lok Sabha seat oldest of the seven parliamentary constituencies in the capital has been a preserve of the country's ruling political party, particularly since the 1992 by-elections. Out of the 16 general elections and two Lok Sabha by-polls, the seat has been won 13 times by the party that came to power at the Centre.

(Nivedita Singh can be contacted at nivedita.singh@.in)

( With inputs from IANS )

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