BJP sweeps Delhi civic polls, blow to AAP
The BJP on Wednesday 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 hard work of team @BJP4Delhi which made the resounding MCD win possible," he tweeted.
BJP president Amit Shah said the people of Delhi have rejected the negative politics and put their seal of approval on Prime Minister Narendra Modi's 'Sabka saath, sabka vikas' programme.
"This is an unprecedented win for the BJP. I express my gratitude to the people of Delhi. This is the victory of Modiji's leadership," he said reacting to the BJP's victory in the MCD polls.
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 pitchforked 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 shriller.
The opposition called it a "referendum" on the Kejriwal government and demanded that the CM resign.
Meanwhile, DPCC chief Ajay Maken offered to resign from his post, accepting moral responsibility for the Congress' dismal performance in the civic 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," Maken said.