New Delhi, April 26
Beating anti-incumbency factor of two terms and proving the exit polls true, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) retained power by huge margins in all the three municipal corporations in Delhi. Trends since morning showed the saffron party surging ahead, in keeping with its winning spree in almost all recent major elections in the country. As of now, BJP runs the three corporations of Delhi – North, East and South – with 138 wards. The party has maintained it will win 230-plus wards this time.
As per the final tally, BJP has won 181 wards while the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) and the Congress bagged 48 and 30 wards, respectively.
The fight is now on between AAP and Congress for the distant second spot. A day before counting, Congress had said it hoped to wrest 70-80 seats. The party had faced its worst rout in the 2015 Delhi Assembly polls when it failed to bag even a single seat. While it seems to have increased its vote share in the civic polls, it is most likely to be pushed to the third spot.
Delhi Congress chief Ajay Maken said he would resign from all party posts and work as a ‘karyakarta’ after the party’s dismal performance. Delhi Congress in-charge P C Chacko too stepped down.
The AAP, for its part, kept up its attack on the electronic voting machines (EVMs), alleging they were tampered with. Delhi Minister Gopal Rai termed BJP’s victory as “EVM lehar (wave) and not Modi lehar”. Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia and party leader Ashutosh, too, said EVMs were behind BJP’s performance. Significantly, BJP fought the elections in the name of PM Modi and not on the plank of civic issues like sanitation.
The MCD elections were a litmus test for the AAP that lost in the recent assembly elections in Punjab and Goa. In the 2015 Assembly elections in which Congress failed to open its account, AAP had in an incredible performance won 67 of 70 seats while fetching nearly 54 cent of votes. On the other hand, BJP could bag only three seats, garnering 33 per cent of the votes.
Meanwhile, BJP has said it will not host or participate in any celebrations as a mark of honour to the 25 CRPF men who died in a Maoist attack in Chhattisgarh’s Sukma on Monday. BJP Delhi chief Manoj Tiwari announced there would be no ‘dhol’ or dancing.
In a tweet, Tiwari attributed the win to PM Narendra Modi’s policies, Amit Shah’s plans and the hard work of the Delhi BJP workers. These municipal elections were among the most hotly contested in recent history. Political parties put in massive efforts to gain supremacy though a little over 53 per cent of the voters came out. Significantly, BJP had replaced all its old councillors with fresh faces.
New Delhi, April 26