The BJP today scored a hat-trick in the Delhi civic polls as it comfortably retained control of the three municipal corporations, dealing a severe blow to the AAP and dashing the Congress’ hope of a revival.
Winning 181 out of 270 wards where elections were held, the saffron party added muscle to its decade-long domination of the corporations effortlessly bucking anti-incumbency by riding on the popularity of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
The BJP’s corporation-wise tally is: SDMC – 70, NDMC – 64 and EDMC – 47 as against AAP’s tally of 16, 21 and 11 respectively. Congress finished last with 12, 15 and 3 wards.
The BJP had won 138 wards in the last election.
Modi expressed his gratitude to the people of Delhi for reposing faith in the BJP and ensuring its resounding victory in the polls.
“I laud the hardwork of team @BJP4Delhi which made the resounding MCD win possible,” he tweeted.
In his first reaction, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal promised all cooperation to the civic bodies and refrained from commenting on EVMs, the alleged “manipulation” of which has been identified by him as the reason behind AAP’s string of poll upsets.
“I congratulate BJP on their victory in all 3 MCDs. My govt looks forward to working wid MCDs for the betterment of Delhi (sic),” Kejriwal, who went into a huddle with top leaders of the AAP as the results trickled in early in the day, tweeted.
The victory is especially sweet for the BJP as it comes two years after it suffered a shock defeat in the Assembly polls where a near-absolute majority had catapulted the AAP to the national stage.
For the AAP, the rout comes after successive jolts in Punjab and Goa assembly polls and the Rajouri Garden Assembly bypoll here and has led to murmurs of discontent in the party becoming louder.
The opposition called it a “referendum” on the Kejriwal government and demanded that the CM resign.
The Congress, which was hoping to bounce back in Delhi by putting up a creditable show, has been resigned to political wilderness. Ajay Maken, who has steered the party’s local unit over the last two years, has resigned as the Delhi Pradesh Congress chief.