BJP decimates Opposition, sweeps MCD elections; AAP rants about EVMs, Congress finishes third
Riding on a Modi wave and defeating anti-incumbency, the BJP on Wednesday retained with a sweeping majority its 10-year hold on the capital's three civic bodies.
New Delhi: Decimating Opposition, the BJP on Wednesday swept the MCD polls, retaining its ten-year hold on the capital's three civic bodies.
The BJP won 181 of the 270 wards that polled on Sunday, way above the halfway mark to secure control of all the three Municipal Corporations of Delhi - North, South and East. The BJP won 64 of 103 wards in North, 70 of 104 in South and 47 of 63 in East.
The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) led by Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal could manage wins in just 48 wards and the Congress was way behind with 30 seats. The Bahujan Samaj Party won three wards, Indian National Lok Dal and Samajwadi Party one each and independents won six wards.
BJP hails PM Modi:
A jubilant BJP credited its continued electoral success to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who tweeted his thanks to the people of Delhi for retaining their faith in the party.
"I laud the hard work of (Delhi BJP) team which made the resounding MCD win possible," he said.
BJP President Amit Shah, who is in West Bengal, said the election results, coming close on the heels of the party's successes in the assembly polls in Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Goa and Manipur, have taken forward the "Modi and BJP juggernaut".
Delhi BJP chief Manoj Tiwari, the brain behind the party's "AAP se na ho ga" (AAP can't do it) campaign, also credited the victory to PM Modi and his developmental policies.
Tiwari called for Kejriwal's resignation, saying "the people of Delhi have exercised their right to recall" by voting against the AAP.
AAP rejected by voters:
Delhi's overwhelming rejection of the AAP came barely two years into its meteoric rise in the 2015 Assembly polls when it had clinched an unprecedented 67 of the 70 seats.
AAP's abject defeat, which came close on the heels of its abysmal performance in the Assembly polls in Goa, where it failed to open account and poorer than expected show in Punjab, does not portend well for the party which is bracing itself for a bigger battle in PM Modi's home turf Gujarat. Assembly election is Gujarat is due later this year.
Stunned by the defeat, the AAP alleged that the Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) were rigged to help the saffron party win.
"Without rigging, such a massive win is not possible," Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia said, reiterating the accusations the party has been raising since AAP's defeat in the Punjab and Goa assembly polls, as per IANS.
He said it was "unbelievable" that the BJP could return to power in the civic bodies with such a massive win even as the MCD in the last 10 years had failed to maintain the upkeep of the city.
Meanwhile, AAP's Delhi convenor Dilip Pandey resigned while Chandni Chowk MLA Alka Lamba offered to step down owing responsibility for the debacle, pointing towards an impending churning in the party.
Delhi's Water Resources Minister Kapil Mishra, a popular face, called for "introspection" instead of raking up the issue of alleged manipulation of EVMs.
The ripple effect of AAP's defeat in Delhi was felt in Punjab where knives were out, with party MP Bhagwant Mann assailing the party leadership for the loss in the assembly election.
Mann alleged that the AAP leadership was behaving like a "mohalla (neighbourhood) cricket team" and said there was no use of finding falut with the EVMs.
There were noises of discontent in Congress, too, with Sheila Dikshit, who led the party's government for 15 years in Delhi, calling for "introspection".
"The party was not able top reach out (to voters) the way we should have. Any excuse can be given when you don't want to do anything. The decision has to be taken by the high command. The leadership needs to introspect," she said, as per PTI.
Dikshit, who did not campaign, said Ajay Maken, the party's state unit chief, did not involve senior leaders in electioneering.
"I was not asked for campaigning then how could have I gone for it," Dikshit said.
The grand old party did increase its vote share from 9.7 percent in the 2015 assembly polls to 21.2 per cent in the civic elections, but the scale of the defeat overshadowed whatever little gains it made.
(With Agency inputs)