Congress's sorry story in Delhi: Vote share under 5%, 2nd place in 1 seat

Devender Yadav of Cong is trailing behind AAP's Ajesh Yadav by 3,645 votes in Badli

Sonia Rahul (File) Congress president Sonia Gandhi and party MP Rahul Gandhi | PTI

That the Congress never really had a chance of forming the government in Delhi was a fact accepted by even the staunchest supporter of the grand old party.

Despite this, leaders like Delhi Congress chief Subhash Chopra had said before counting, the "actual results" would surprise everyone. Perhaps the hopes of the Congress to make a mark in the poll field were fuelled by the party's performance in the 2019 Lok Sabha polls. In the three-way fight for the seven Lok Sabha seats, all of which the BJP won, the Congress pushed the AAP to third spot in five constituencies. In terms of vote share, the Congress got 22 per cent votes, four per cent more than AAP in the Parliamentary polls.

In the 2015 Assembly polls, the Congress drew a blank, coming second in just four of the 70 seats as AAP won 67 seats. The candidates of Congress forfeited deposits in 62 of the constituencies, marking a steep fall for a party that had ruled Delhi uninterrupted for 15 years from 1998. The party secured a vote share of 9.65 per cent in 2015.

But the trends for the 2020 Assembly polls shows the Congress is set to surpass the infamy of 2015. As of 12pm, the trends on the Election Commission website show the AAP heading for another landslide, with the incumbent party leading in 58 seats and the BJP ahead in 12 seats.

Even as it has drawn a blank, the vote share of the Congress has crashed to 4.20 per cent, less than half the figure in 2015 and less than one-fifth its figure in the Lok Sabha polls. On the other hand, the BJP's vote share from 2015 has increased to over 39 per cent, raising speculation of Congress voters shifting to the saffron party.

Most alarming for the Congress is the fact that the party is in second place in just one seat: Badli.

Devender Yadav of the Congress is trailing behind Ajesh Yadav of the AAP by 3,645 votes as of 12.30pm. Devender had lost to Ajesh from Badli by around 35,000 votes in 2015.

The seats were the Congress is in third place include Ballimaran, won by Congress strongman Haroon Yusuf five times from 1993 to 2013. Yusuf, a former minister, in the Sheila Dikshit era, is trailing in third place, with a mere 5.78 per cent of the vote, with incumbent AAP legislator Imran Hussain appearing set for a comfortable victory.

Another high-profile seat that the Congress had eyed was Chandni Chowk. The Congress fielded AAP defector Alka Lamba, who had won from Chandni Chowk by over 18,000 votes in 2015 on an AAP ticket. This time however, Lamba is not even in the picture, having secured about three per cent of the vote. Ironically, the AAP candidate who is leading from Chandni Chowk, Parlad Singh Sawhney, had contested on a Congress ticket from the seat in 2015 and came third.