As MCD election results started coming in on Wednesday, it became clear that The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) was all set to retain Delhi’s three civic bodies for the third time in a row, dealing a serious blow to the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), which blamed Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) for its poor show in the municipal elections.
According to the Delhi election office, the BJP had won 174 wards, AAP 44, Congress 27 wards so far. The BSP won two wards in the east municipal corporation, the INLD bagged one seat and one ward went to an Independent candidate.
In the north body, the BJP won 62 wards, AAP 18 and Congress 13. In the south MCD, the BJP won 66, AAP 16 and 11 went to the Congress. In the east Delhi municipal body, 46 went to BJP, 10 to AAP and three to the Congress.
The results are a major setback to Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, who is struggling to retain the appeal of the five-year-old party that came to power in Delhi by a sweeping majority in the 2015 Assembly elections.
Anti-corruption crusader Anna Hazare questioned Kejriwal’s leadership, saying the party haf lost credibility among people in a short span of time. Hazare, once a colleague of Kejriwal during the Lokpal movement, said there was difference between “words and action” of AAP which led to their defeat in the elections.
The BJP was very happy. As the results became clear, Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s tweeted: “Grateful to the people of Delhi for the faith in BJP. I laud the hardwork of (Delhi BJP) team... which made the resounding MCD win possible.”
Party chief Amit Shah said: “MCD election results have pushed Modi’s victory chariot forward... The results show negative politics won’t work... I congratulate Manoj Tiwari and all our party workers,” he said.
Accepting defeat, Delhi Congress chief Ajay Maken decided to resign from his post. “We have made a reasonable comeback... I hoped for a better performance. We because I could not meet the expectations, I have decided to resign... For one year, I will not take up any post in the party; will work as a party worker,” Maken said.
As AAP’s dismal run became clear, deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia and Delhi labour minister Gopal Rai met Kejriwal at his residence in Civil Lines to decide the party’s line on the impending loss.
The party blamed the Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) for the poor show. Rai briefly stepped outside to blame faulty EVMs for the rout they so hoped against. “
“EVM tampering is the bitter truth of the country’s democracy. One can crack jokes on us initially, but fearing being made fun of, we cannot refrain from speaking the truth,” Sisodia told reporters.