NEW DELHI: Though they were by-elections but the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MDC) poll results have certainly thrown some indications for the way its general election next year may go.
MCD bypolls were held in five civic body wards – Ward No 32N, (Rohini-C), Ward No 62N, (Shalimar Bagh North) in North Delhi and Ward No 02-E (Trilokpuri), Ward No 08-E (Kalyanpuri) and Ward No 41-E (Chauhan Bangar) in East Delhi – last week.
Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal-led AAP candidates had won in four out of five wards – Rohini-C, Trilokpuri, Kalyanpuri and Chauhan Bangar. The BJP was winner in Shalimar Bagh North.
In the last week’s bypolls, AAP won the same number of wards – four. It retained Rohini-C, Trilokpuri, Kalyanpuri while it wrested Shalimar Bagh from the BJP.
On the other hand, AAP lost the Chauhan Bangar ward to the Congress.
Summing up the results, while AAP retained four wards, the BJP suffered a loss and Congress stood to gain a ward.
Though AAP retained the number of wards, it has some causes for worries over the defeat it faced in Chauhan Bangar at the hands of the Congress candidate.
Chaudhary Zubair Ahmad of the Congress defeated AAP candidate Mohammad Ishraq Khan by 10,642 votes in Chauhan Bangar. A margin of over 10,000 votes in a municipal election is huge and decisive.
There is a cause of concern for the Congress as well even though it wrested the Chauhan Bangar ward from AAP. In the remaining four wards it was in the third position. In order to improve its performance next year, it will have to work hard to be AAP’s main challenger in these wards.
As far as the BJP is concerned, though it lost the only ward it had among these five, there is some consolation for the party ruling the MCD. It came second in all the four wards.
Elated over the results, Kejriwal said in a tweet: “The people of Delhi have once again voted in the name of work. Congratulations to them. The people have got fed up with the BJP’s misrule in the MCD for the last 15 years. They are now eager to form an AAP government in MCD also.”
Kejriwal has reasons to gloat over the MCD bypoll results. His AAP has made inroads in BJP-ruled Gujarat by becoming the main opposition in Surat municipal corporation besides winning several seats in the civic body elections, results of which were announced on Tuesday.
And now, its position has remained strong in BJP-ruled MCD.
Senior AAP leader and deputy chief minister of Delhi Manish Sisodia said that the results are an indication of things to come. “The people of Delhi have expressed their confidence in us. They are fed up with BJP and this election is an indication of that. In the 2022 Delhi municipal polls, BJP will be wiped out,” he said.
AAP candidate Dhirender Kumar won the Kalyanpuri ward by 7,043 votes. AAP’s Vijay Kumar defeated BJP’s Om Prakash by a margin of 4,986 votes in Trilokpuri.
AAP’s Sunita Mishra defeated Surbhi Jaju of the BJP in Shalimar Bagh ward by 2,705 votes. The seat was earlier held by the BJP.
Ram Chander of the AAP defeated BJP candidate Rakesh Goyal by 2,985 votes in Rohini C ward.
In the first election in the national capital held during the Covid-19 pandemic, around 50.86 per cent voter turnout was registered during the MCD by-polls in five wards on Sunday.
Polling was conducted at 327 polling stations while adhering to COVID-19 protocols and 26 candidates from Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Congress, AAP and other parties were in the fray.
The BJP had retained all three municipal corporations in Delhi in the 2017 civic polls with the AAP finishing a distant second.