Modi's popularity, new faces helped BJP beat anti-incumbency

Modi's popularity, new faces helped BJP beat anti-incumbency

The BJP’s hat-trick win in the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) polls with much bigger margin was crafted by pitching Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s popularity against opponents, overcoming anti-incumbency sentiments.

Sources in the BJP said, to avoid unpopular corporators upsetting their strategy, party chief Amit Shah adopted Modi’s time-tested Gujarat model of fielding new faces to beat anti-incumbency against their own regime.

The BJP had dropped 267 sitting corporators to give tickets to new faces in the total 272 wards spread over South Delhi Municipal Corporation, North Delhi Municipal Corporation and East Delhi Municipal Corporation.

In the run-up to the elections, the party had vigorously dug out dirt on the Kejriwal government. A BJP leader said Modi has managed to take revenge on Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal for the 2015 Assembly election defeat and the outcome has set the stage for 2020 electoral battle.   

Modi thanked the people for giving a massive mandate in favour of the BJP, which won more than 160 of the total 272 seats. The tally may go up as the results for a few wards were yet to come. “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,” Modi tweeted.

Shah hailed the verdict as a “victory of Modiji’s leadership” and an endorsement of his ‘Sabka saath, sabka vikas’ vision. In his address to media in Kolkata, the BJP chief launched a veiled attack on Kejriwal by saying that the results show “the people of Delhi have rejected negative politics and the politics of excuses, and helped Modiji’s vijay rath.”

“Following wins in the Assembly elections for Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Goa, and Manipur, this victory has put a seal on Modiji’s inclusive governance over the last three years,” Shah told reporters.

The party decided not to celebrate the sweeping win and dedicated the people’s mandate to the slain CRPF personnel in Chhattisgarh. Delhi BJP chief Manoj Tiwari said the MCD polls results are “a referendum on Kejriwal government”.

Tiwari sarcastically remarked that “Arvind Kejriwal used to advocate Right to Recall and it seems now that the people of Delhi have used the right on him”.

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