BJP sweeps Delhi civic elections; jolt to AAP

Cong slips to 3rd place; Kejriwal party blames EVMs

BJP sweeps Delhi civic elections; jolt to AAP

The BJP on Wednesday rode to a spectacular hat-trick in Delhi civic polls bagging all the three corporations while the electoral drubbings of AAP and Congress continued.
The results came as a rude jolt to AAP, which is ruling the state, as it could not capitalise on anti-incumbency against the saffron party that is ruling the three corporations.
While AAP lost substantial vote share compared to Assembly polls two years ago (from 54.3% in 2015 to around 26.21% now), the Congress' hopes of an early electoral revival were also dashed though it improved its vote share from 2015 (from 9.7% to 21.11%).
The BJP won 181 seats out of 270 wards in three corporations that went to polls on April 23, improving its tally from 138 it won in 2012. AAP came a distant second with 48 wards in its kitty and Congress a dismal 30.
Of the 272 wards in three corporations, 270 went to polls as elections to one each wards in North Delhi Muncipal Corporation (NDMC with total 104 wards) and East Delhi Municipal Corporation (EMDC with 64 wards) were postponed due to death of candidates. South Delhi Municipal Corporation (SDMC) has 104 wards.
The saffron party won 70 of the 104 seats in SDMC while AAP had 16 and Congress bagged 12. In NDMC, BJP won 64 out of 103, AAP 21 and Congress won 15. The EDMC also saw BJP winning the majority with 47 of the 63 wards while AAP had to settle with 11 and Congress three.
The victories in three corporations in the national capital would be a boost for the BJP, which continues its winning streak after the civic poll wins in Maharashtra and Odisha as well as the Assembly polls in Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand. It is also a sweet revenge after its decimation in the 2015 Assembly elections, when BJP could win only three out of the 70 seats leaving the rest to AAP.
BJP is upbeat as it has managed to win a third term in the civic polls. In 2007, the polls were held for undivided corporation while the 2012 polls were held after the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) was trifurcated.
The AAP described its crushing defeat to "manipulation" of Electronic Voting Machines' (EVMs) but later Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal congratulated the BJP and assured them cooperation in running the civic bodies.
Tension is simmering in the AAP over the series of electoral debacles -- in Punjab and Goa followed by bypolls in Delhi's Rajouri Garden and now civic polls. Its Lok Sabha MP Bhagwant Mann has already opened fire saying there is no point in blaming EVMs even as Delhi-based AAP leadership was trying to describe the BJP as an "EVM wave" and "manipulation of EVMs".
The AAP has lost lost considerable ground in Delhi in the past two years despite it winning 67 out of the 70 seats in Assembly polls.
Congress is trying to find solace in improving its performance. In comparison to 2015 polls, the growth is impressive but if one takes the 2012 civic polls (30.54%) or the 2013 Assembly elections (24.55%), Congress cannot boast of recovering the lost ground.
Taking moral responsibility, Congress' Delhi chief Ajay Maken and Delhi AICC-in charge P C Chacko have tendered their resignation following his party's dismal show.

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