AAP candidates forfeited deposit in all 29 seats the party contested in Karnataka, giving yet another jolt to its attempts to spread its wings outside Delhi and Punjab. Prithvi Reddy, AAP’s Karnataka convenor, who took on Congress heavyweight KJ George from the Sarvagnanagar Assembly constituency, could barely manage 1,861 votes coming a distant fourth. “We were washed out but I cannot understand why. We got a lot of support but that could not be converted into votes,” said Reddy, who had resorted to the door-to-door campaign, usually undertaken by the party citing lack of resources.
Of the 29 seats, the party had contested 18 in Bengaluru and 11 in the other parts of the state. In 2017, the AAP made attempts to spread itself outside Delhi, where it had scored a stunning victory in 2015 by bagging 67 out of 70 assembly seats. But barring Punjab, where it emerged as the main opposition party, its performance was disappointing. It drew a blank in Goa and later in Gujarat Assembly polls, where all its 29 candidates lost their deposits.
Candidates in Assembly elections lose the deposit if they secure less than one-sixth of the valid votes polled in the constituency. In 2018, the AAP also failed to open an account in Nagaland and Mizoram. Yogendra Yadav-led Swaraj India too contested 11 seats in the state. Its Darshan Puttannaiah polled 73,779 votes from Melukote seat, coming second.
“Swaraj India had contested 11 assembly seats in the Karnataka assembly elections 2018. Our candidates have polled a total of 79,400 votes. This is a creditable beginning, better than other new entrants. While we did not win any seat, our candidate and general secretary Darshan Puttannaiah finished second fighting against the money and power of the JD(S) which is a truly encouraging beginning,” Swaraj India said in a statement. The party has also secured 0.2 per cent of the total vote share.
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