New Delhi: The keenly-awaited results of the Delhi municipal elections on Wednesday will show if the BJP has been able to keep up its political momentum, if the Congress party has been able to revive itself in the metropolis, and if the ruling Aam Aadmi Party has been able to build up its base among the people.
Exit polls have predicted the BJP will make a clean sweep while the AAP and Congress will lag far behind.
The BJP is seeking a hat-trick in the civic body polls and a win will help the party keep up the momentum of its large victories in recent assembly polls in Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand.
For the Congress, a good performance in the civic polls will mean a political revival in Delhi after the party failed to win a single seat in the last assembly polls.
For the AAP, a good performance will be a morale-booster and an affirmation of support the party received in the last assembly polls when it won 67 of the 70 seats. However, an adverse outcome could act as a dampner to the party's plans to expand its footprint in states such as Gujarat and Rajasthan.
In its campaign, the AAP sought to highlight the work done by its government in Delhi in several areas, including health, education, water and electricity distribution. The party has promised to abolish house tax.
The AAP has expressed fear of tampering of electronic voting machines (EVMs) and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal had earlier suggested that the MCD polls should be conducted with paper ballots.
Kejriwal told IANS in an interview on Saturday that he fears "5 to 10 per cent" EVM tampering in Delhi's civic polls. However, the Delhi state election commission has rejected apprehensions about the working of the EVMs and said that the machines were "completely safe".
The BJP went into the municipal polls after changing many of its sitting candidates following apparent feedback that they were facing anti-incumbency. A win will be a vindication of the party's electoral strategy as also a cap in the feather of its Delhi unit chief Manoj Tiwari, who was appointed to the post in December last year, barly months before the civic polls.
Tiwari made efforts to increase the party's influence among the poorer sections, seen as supporters of the AAP and the Congress. The MP from northeast Delhi visited several slum colonies.