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MCD election results 2017: Key highlights of BJP victory over AAP, Congress

LiveMint logoLiveMint 26-04-2017 Livemint

New Delhi: The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Wednesday looks well poised to sweep municipal polls in all three corporations in Delhi where it had lost political space to Arvind Kejriwal’s Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) in 2015 in legislative assembly elections. Then, BJP could just win three vidhan sabha seats against AAP’s 67 seats. The Congress party has been able to win few seats, but it remains relegated at the third position behind AAP.

The elections to Delhi Municipal Corporations (MCD) were held on 23 April and recorded a voter turnout of 53.58%. Here are some of the key highlights of the triangular contest between BJP, AAP and the Congress party:

■ Modi-Shah winning combination: Not only the victory in MCD elections 2017 is BJP’s third consecutive in the national capital’s urban body elections, under Modi-Shah duo the saffron party has created a hat-trick of victories in key elections in recent months. While BJP emerged as the second largest party in the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) elections earlier this year, it won multiple urban local body elections across Maharashtra.

After that, BJP won assembly elections in February-March in key states of Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand, and was able to form government in Goa and Manipur. If winning elections is the sole criteria, the Modi-Shah combo has been delivering handsomely for the party. These wins will further consolidate their position both within the government and the party.

■ AAP’s decline: AAP’s poor performance in state assembly elections will erode the party’s credibility as an alternative to non-BJP, non-Congress brand of politics. It came in second in Punjab despite exit polls predicting an AAP win over both Congress and BJP-SAD combine and couldn’t open its account in Goa. The poor performance in MCD polls will raise voices of dissent within the party against Kejriwal’s leadership.

Also read | MCD election results 2017 Live: Counting of votes shows BJP win, Kejriwal’s AAP blames

Before elections, AAP MLA from Bawana, Ved Prakash joined BJP and blamed Kejriwal’s leadership for leaving the party. He also claimed that many more MLAs may change their allegiances in the coming days.

■ Congress blame game: Losing elections is becoming the new normal for the Congress with the party being relegated to the third position as the BJP swept the polls and AAP at a distant second. The dismal performance of the Congress party comes in the backdrop of a series of defeat in the capital state beginning with assembly elections in 2013, Lok Sabha polls in 2014, assembly elections again in 2015 and more recently the Rajouri Garden assembly bypolls earlier this month.

The extent of party’s electoral rout in Delhi can be gauged from the fact that it was in power for 15 consecutive years under former chief minister Shiela Dikshit till December 2013. Soon after the trends poured in, Delhi Congress president Ajay Maken offered to resign.

Read more | MCD election results 2017: What’s next for Congress?

Dikshit has blamed the state leadership for the poor performance of the party. While infighting within the Congress party continues, two powerful leaders from Delhi – Arvinder Singh Lovely and Barkha Shukla Singh – left the party. Lovely has joined BJP.

■ BJP’s Muslim question: After facing criticism for not giving ticket to a single candidate from the minority community in Uttar Pradesh assembly elections, BJP gave five out of 272 tickets to Muslims. The minority community makes for about 13% of the national capital’s population.

The Muslim faces of Delhi BJP were Kuwar Rafi form Zakir Nagar, Sartaj Ahmed from Chauhan Banger, Sabra Malik from Mustafabad, Famudin Safi from Delhi Gate and Rubina Begum from Quresh Nagar. But all of them lost with Congress winning at least four of the five seats, according to CNN-News18.com.

■ Manoj Tiwari gambit: Elevating Bhojpuri-actor-singer-turned-politician Manoj Tiwari as the state unit chief was a gambit that worked in BJP’s favour as immigrants from eastern Uttar Pradesh and Bihar now constitutes roughly 32% of Delhi’s electorate.

Tiwari, who currently represents Northeast Delhi in Lok Sabha, was the only BJP voice opposing Kiran Bedi’s projection as Delhi’s chief ministerial candidate.

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