Published: 23rd May 2019
Why Atishi's degrees were no match for Gambhir's strokes
The AAP candidate only managed to get about 1.8 lakh votes while Gambhir had an overwhelming majority of over 5 lakh votes.
The words Oxford graduate, Delhi University topper, education advisor were words that experts across the country thought were enough for a candidate to win the elections. But they were all proved wrong on May 23. AAP candidate Atishi didn't even come close to winning the fight against cricketer Gautam Gambhir, she was far behind Congress candidate Arvinder Singh Lovely.
Atishi, who dropped her surname Marlena - a move that fuelled speculation that she only dropped it because it was Christian-sounding in a predominantly non-Christian constituency - only managed to get about 1.8 lakh votes while Gambhir had an overwhelming majority of over 5 lakh votes. Lovely had about 2.6 lakh votes at around 4.30 pm.
Atishi burst into the limelight after she almost single-handedly reformed Delhi schools under the leadership of Deputy CM Manish Sisodia. The AAP-led Delhi government was praised for bringing government schools on par with private schools in their term. Their success was proved with students of government schools not only drastically increasing the pass percentage but also performing much better than private schools.
Her work in the education sector seemed to initially give her an edge over other candidates. And then Gambhir filed his nomination papers from the BJP. In the last few weeks of the campaign, Atishi and Gambhir got into a war of words. Things became heated after a pamphlet calling Marlena a 'prostitute' and accusing her of having a relationship with Sisodia started to get circulated. At a conference, she broke down and even accused Gambhir of circulating the pamphlets. He responded by saying that he would withdraw his candidature if found guilty of the same.
Despite most experts predicting her easy win, considering Gambhir had no previous political experience and decided to contest much later, the fact that she failed to even secure second place came as a shock.
Now that the numbers have come out, social media is flooded with pictures and memes of Atishi comparing her to another BJP candidate, and that isn't Gambhir. People are comparing her to Bhopal constituency candidate, Pragya Thakur. People now seem to be ridiculing the fact that India has chosen someone like Pragya Thakur, a terror accused in the Malegaon massacre over a highly educated and experienced politician.
However, Atishi did put up a post on Facebook early on about coming back stronger.
Well, we can only wait and watch.