AAP's Atishi, the activist from Oxford wins in Kalkaji by a wide margin of 11,393 votes


  • AAP's Atishi has won from the Kalkaji constituency in South Delhi. She won by a margin of 11,393 votes, according to the Election Commission.
  • She was contesting against Dharambir Singh of BJP and Shivani Chopra of Congress.
  • In the last five years, the party allocated the biggest chunk of its budget for education each year since it came to power in 2015.
AAP's Atishi has won from Kalkaji constituency in Delhi. According to the Election Commission data, she won by a wide margin of 11,393 votes. She was contesting against Dharambir Singh of BJP and Shivani Chopra of Congress.

In 2015, AAP's Avtar Singh won from the Kalkaji assembly seat by a margin of 19,769 votes. AAP accounted for over 51% votes in 2015.

PartyCandidate NameStatus
AAPAtishi55,897
BJPDharambir Singh44,504
CongressShivani Chopra4,965

She had to give up her last name ‘Marlena’ ahead of 2019 Lok Sabha elections as rivals portrayed her as Jew. It was a rare act of backing down in the face of political pressure in India but she was new to politics.

The educationist and activist, who is the only woman in the party’s political affairs committee was also in charge of drawing up the manifesto of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), led by incumbent Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal.

After the AAP won assembly elections in 2015, Atishi contested for the parliamentary seat from the East-Delhi constituency in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections but lost to cricketer-turned-politician Gautam Gambhir from the rival Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

Party2020 Elections2015 Elections
AAP53.6%53.39%
BJP38.5%35.94%
INC4.26%7.80%
Others3.64%0.87%

But when Kejriwal goes asking for votes, her contribution will be his best selling point.

Atishi was the advisor to Delhi’s education minister Manish Sisodia until last year — when the Ministry of Home Affairs terminated her position saying that her appointment wasn’t passed by the national government.

In the last five years, the party allocated the biggest chunk of its budget for education each year since it came to power in 2015. Sisodia said, 8,000 new classrooms were built to overcome the infrastructure shortage in the state-run schools.

She reportedly pushed for parent teacher meetings across all government schools for the first time in Delhi. Her education reforms and initiatives include cracking down on fee hikes in private schools, separate school management committees and introduction of ‘Happiness curriculum’ to nurture students and instill moral values.

The state government schools also posted better results. The pass percentage increased by nearly 3% — touching 91% in 2018. While the private schools recorded slightly less at 88.3%.

She forayed into politics during 2013 assembly elections in Delhi and, eventually, turned into a key member of the political affairs committee of the AAP. The 38-year-old is AAP’s only female candidate in Delhi.

See also:
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal⁠— the man with a knack for Carpe Diem

Delhi Election 2020: Gautam Gambhir, MP, cricketer and commentator, will have a lot of say during Delhi’s upcoming assembly elections
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