Counting of votes began this morning for the high-stakes Delhi municipal polls in which over 71 lakh electorates exercised their franchise to choose 270 ward councillors for three corporations.
If early trends are anything to go by then it is now clear that the BJP will continue to rule in all three corporations again. The polls for three civic bodies were held on April 23 that saw a voter turnout of around 53.58 per cent, higher than the 2012 elections.
The elections, which witnessed a fierce battle of ballots among the ruling BJP, the Congress and the AAP, were held on Sunday and today's results and are likely to have political ramifications beyond the national capital's borders.
Early Trends - India Today
North MCD (103) BJP-68 Congress-16 AAP-18
South MCD (104) BJP-68 Congress-11 AAP-19
East MCD (63) BJP-44 Congress-08 AAP-08
- Social activist Anna Hazare today slammed Arvind Kejriwal for lacking in action. According to ANI report, Hazare said: "Kathni aur karni mein antar pad gaya hai (There is a world of difference between what they preach and what they practise)."
- Prime Minister Narendra Modi today expressed gratitude to the people of Delhi for reposing faith in the BJP and ensuring its resounding victory in MCD polls. "Grateful to the people of Delhi for the faith in BJP. I laud the hardwork of team @BJP4Delhi which made the resounding MCD win possible," he tweeted.
Grateful to the people of Delhi for the faith in BJP. I laud the hardwork of team @BJP4Delhi which made the resounding MCD win possible.— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) April 26, 2017
Here's what BJP President Amit Shah had to say on Dellhi MCD Elections
- Speaking on the party's massive win, BJP President Amit Shah says, "This is the victory of the BJP government's Sabka Sath, Sabka Vikas' programme."
- "Delhi ke parinaam ne BJP ke vijay rath ko aur aage badhaya hai (the Delhi victory has taken the BJP's victory juggernaut ahead)," Amit Shah said.
- Former Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit today blamed the local leadership for failing to reach out to the people in MCD elections. "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," Sheila Dikshit said.
- Delhi Congress chief Ajay Maken offers to resign after party's poor performance in the MCD polls. "It is a reasonable revival of the Congress but I had hoped for something better than this. I had expected to perform a little better. So, as the president of Delhi Congress I take moral responsibility and offer to resign from my post. I have decided to resign from my post," Congress Delhi unit chief Ajay Maken said.
- Winning and losing is a part of democracy, one must accept mandate of the people with maturity, says BJP leader and Union minister Nitin Gadkari.
- Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia today claimed that EVMs were behind BJP victory. Deputy Chief Minister Sisodia, in a series of tweets, said that the BJP had research on EVMs for five years after losing the 2009 elections. "BJP ne 2009 ka chunav haarne ke baad 5 saal EVM par research kar mahaarat haasil ki aur ussi research aur mahaarat ke dum par chunaav jeet rahi hai," Sisodia tweeted.
- AAP blames EVMs. AAP leader Gopal Rai said that this was not BJP wave, this was EVM wave. "This is the same wave that they (BJP) used in the Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, and Punjab polls," Rai said.
- Delhi BJP president Manoj Tiwari has said that Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal should take responsibility for AAP's loss and resign from his post.
- BJP candidates won Janakpuri West and Janakpuri South, in South Delhi Municipal Corporation (SDMC) by defeating AAP candidates.
- Narender Chawla won from Janakpuri West by a margin of 1347 votes, while Veena Sharma defeated her AAP rival by 5362 votes.
- The BJP also won Rajender Nagar ward in North Delhi Municipal Corporation (NDMC).
A high-octane campaigning was witnessed during the campaigning by the three major players and various other smaller parties who are in the fray. The polls saw a voter turnout of 53.58 per cent, a shade higher than the 2012 MCD elections. The BJP, seeking to retain the turf it has held for the last 10 years, has exuded confidence of performing extremely well.
मैं व्यक्तिगत रूप से तीनों वार्डस में हुई हार की जिम्मेदारी लेते हुये पार्टी को अपने सभी पदों से और विधायक पद से इस्तीफ़े की पेशकश करती हूँ।— Alka Lamba (@LambaAlka) April 26, 2017
The verdict is expected to reshape the political equations in the country's power capital.
The result will also determine whether the sway of Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal-led AAP, which had stunned all by bagging 67 seats out of 70 in the 2015 Delhi Assembly polls, still prevails and will the party be able to put behind its humiliating Rajouri Garden bypoll defeat.
Kejriwal's party had also suffered a defeat in Punjab and a whitewash in Goa Assembly polls earlier this year. However, the AAP chief refused to acknowledge the bye-election verdict as a "trailer of the MCD polls". He had on Monday warned of launching a "movement" if the MCD exit poll claim, which have predicted a BJP sweep, come true.
The BJP fielded 267 candidates while the AAP has fielded candidates in all 272 wards. The Congress, which banked on its big guns during campaigning to shore up its fortune, despite infighting, has 271 candidates in the fray.
The polling was held in 270 of the 272 wards under the three municipal corporations. The election to two wards have been postponed due to the death of candidates.
While the BJP's move to field new candidates was seen as a strategy to counter anti-incumbency, the party claimed it was to "give opportunity to the next generation".
As per the records of the Delhi poll commission, the polling percentage in 2012 was 53.43 per cent, highest in the last 15 years. The 2012 civic polls were also the first elections after the trifurcation of the MCD into the NDMC, the SDMC and the EDMC in the same year.
There were 1,004 candidates vying in the North Delhi Municipal Corporation (NDMC) area, 985 in South Delhi Municipal Corporation (SDMC) and 548 in East Delhi Municipal Corporation (EDMC).
The BSP and the JD(U) have fielded 211 and 95 candidates respectively while the SP has entered the fray with 28.
As many as 71,39,994 votes were cast on April 23. South Delhi polled a maximum of 26,87,685 votes, followed by North Delhi at 26,80,011. East Delhi polled 17,72,298 votes.
Over 1.32 crore electorates were eligible to vote in the polls. While the male vote share stood at 54.04 per cent, the figure for women was pegged at 53.02. 93 votes were polled by people belonging to the other category.
North Delhi Municipal Corporation's Bakhtawarpur ward recorded the highest voter turnout at over 68 per cent, while south Delhi's Lado Sarai registered the least turnout at 39 per cent. This was the first civic poll after the latest delimitation in which the civic wards were redrawn.
(With inputs from PTI)