Sheila Dikshit, Delhi's chief minister for 15 years, resigned after the Congress was routed in assembly elections, after losing to Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader Arvind Kejriwal. Debutant Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) put up a spectacular show in the battle for the 70-member assembly in Delhi.
After result trends showed a clear end to the Congress rule, Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit conceded defeat and submitted her resignation to Lt. Governor Najeeb Jung.
"I would like to thank everyone for their support. We will analyse what went wrong later," a sombre-looking Dikshit told reporters outside her house while declining to take questions.
A shaken Congress president Sonia Gandhi and her son and party general secretary Rahul also expressed shock at the results.
"In Delhi, a great deal of work was done (by the government). But the results tell us something else. We will introspect and take steps to rectify it," Sonia Gandhi said.
Kejriwal, who had claimed that he would defeat the three-time chief minister, got 44,269 votes, while Dikshit received 18,405 votes. BJP’s Vijendra Gupta stood at third position with 17,952 votes.
The BJP will emerged as the single-largest party in the capital with prospects of winning 33 seats. The AAP, born out of the anti-corruption movement of Anna Hazare, is set to bag 27 seats, just one year after it was formed, a performance that even its political foes admitted was spectacular.
After his victory, Kejriwal said : “This isn't my victory. It's a victory of people of New Delhi constituency and victory of democracy." He was addressing hundreds of his supporters who were waving the “broom” - the election symbol of the party - at the party’s Hanuman Road headquarter in Connaught Place.
The BJP admitted Sunday that the AAP's stunning performance in Delhi elections was "surprising" but maintained that it would form a government.
"We always thought of AAP as competition and we were expecting it to get double digit seats but this is surprising," Delhi BJP president Vijay Goel said.
The Congress claimed the verdict was no reflection on its national leadership.