Cong relegated to third in SDMC despite top leaders' presence
It was not a pleasant day for Congress leaders, who had expected to perform well in the South Delhi Municipal Corporation elections. Most prominent Congress leaders like Mahabal Mishra, Yoganand Shastri, Chadhury Prem Singh, Kiran Walia, Subash Chopra and Delhi Pradesh Congress Committee (DPCC) President Ajai Maken, who resigned on Wednesday shortly after the party's defeat in the civic polls, reside in areas under the SDMC.
But the Congress leaders' overwhelming physical presence could not displace the BJP from its numero uno position in the SDMC and the 132-year-old party had to settle for the third position, behind the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP). While Congress workers did maintain that they had never expected to topple the BJP from power in Delhi's municipal corporations, losing the second place to AAP has come as a shock, indeed, to them.
Of course, they had the consolation of faring far better than they had done in Delhi in the the 2014 Lok Sabha and 2015 Assembly elections, with the party gaining some ground in areas under the SDMC. While some of Delhi's richest and most posh areas come under the SDMC, it still has to resolve challenges like the widening economic divide, unauthorised parking, sanitation woes and increasing encroachment.
"Cleanliness and parking issues have been a major issue in our area and I will not say that I have been completely satisfied with the working of my previous councilor. Yet I voted for the BJP because I have been mostly inspired by its national leadership headed by Narender Modi. I feel, the Congress has been at the helm of power for a long time in Delhi and AAP requires more time for administrative efficiency, I, therefore, avoided voting for either of these parties," said Rajouri Garden resident Raman Ahuja.
"A major reason why most urban middle class voters avoid municipal elections today is that they feel that political parties are not catering to their interests. For me the Congress, the AAP and even the BJP seriously need to take interest in urban middle class voters," Ahuja pointed out.
Saket resident and former professor Ramesh Wadhwa said, "I did not vote for the Congress or the BJP as both these parties have not been able to remove corruption in the MCD. When I went for the approval of the mapping plan for the new floor of my house, most MCD officials made me run from pillar to post but did not help me as I refused to pay them any bribes. I now want a new sincerity to be shown towards tackling of corruption in the MCD."