Poll results a rude shock for Congress

The results of Delhi municipal elections have come as a rude shock to Congress which was confident of sweeping the polls on the plank of BJP's "misrule" and infighting over ticket distribution.

The outcome of the polls is seen as huge disappointment for Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit who had pushed hard to trifurcate the MCD despite stiff resistance from a number of party leaders who had warned that splitting the 53 year-old body ahead of the polls will cost the party dear.

Dikshit, who had addressed series of rallies across the city and campaigned hard for the polls, had ruled out price rise highlighted by BJP as an issue but it now appears that the Chief Minister's assessment was not entirely correct.

Although Dikshit chose not to react to the poll outcome, her son and East Delhi MP Sandeep Dikshit attributed the defeat to a disconnect between the party and the people and BJP's success in taking advantage of scams like 2G spectrum and price rise.

A number of senior leaders, however, shrugged off the disappointment saying municipal polls are fought on "very local issues" and they cannot be seen as a "semifinal" ahead of the assembly elections scheduled for November next year as projected by the BJP.

DPCC chief J P Agarwal, who is known for not having the best of relations with Dikshit, could not be contacted for reaction to the poll outcome but sources close to him said he was not ready to take the blame for the defeat.

Senior party leader Subhash Chopra, who had led a delegation to party president Sonia Gandhi last year opposing split in the MCD, said the timing of the trifurcation was "totally wrong" which might have cost the party.

The defeat in East Delhi corporation is seen as particularly disappointing for Dikshit as party leaders said a lot of special effort was put in the area which is represented by her son in the Lok Sabha.
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