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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 947

BJP proves its clout in Delhi civic polls

From R. Vasudevan—Reporting from New Delhi
New Delhi, 18 April (Asian Tribune.com)

Dealing a stunning blow to the ruling Congress, the Bharatiya Janata Party on Tuesday won 138 out of the 272 wards in three Delhi municipal corporations as Congress fell way behind the saffron party in the civic body polls winning 78. The Bahujan Samaj Party won an impressive 15 seats.

The municipal polls are considered as a semi-final ahead of the Assembly elections next year.

In the 2007 polls to the undivided Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD), BJP had bagged 36.17 per cent of the around 42.35 lakh votes polled while Congress got 29.17 per cent. BSP’s vote share was 9.87 per cent.

BJP has 164 councillors in the undivided MCD against Congress’ 67 and BSP’s 17.

Congress sought to downplay the results with party spokesperson Rashid Alvi saying that MCD polls should be seen only as civic polls. BJP’s M Venkaiah Naidu said BJP’s good governance in MCD and Congress’ corruption resulted in the good show of his party.

While the BJP was poised to win North and East Corporations comfortably, the party seemed to be emerging as the single largest party in the South and is confident of getting the support of independents to cross the midway mark. Of the results declared by State Election Commission out of 272 wards in all three corporations, the BJP has bagged 138 while Congress has won 68 seats.

BSP has bagged 14 seats, RLD three, NCP and SP two each and JD(U) and INLD one each while 17 Independents have also won.

In South Delhi Corporation which has a total of 104 wards, BJP has won or is leading in as many as 43 out of the 104 wards while Congress was ahead in 30 seats. Interestingly, others are leading in 26 seats.

In North Delhi Corporation, which has 104 seats, BJP is ahead in 61 seats while Congress is leading in 16 seats. Others are leading in four wards.

In East Delhi Corporation having 64 seats, BJP is leading in 34 seats while Congress is ahead in 26 seats.

BJP has 164 councillors in the undivided MCD against Congress' 67 and BSP's 17. Congress sought to downplay the results with party spokesperson Rashid Alvi saying that MCD polls should be seen only as civic polls.

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.

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. Sandeep Dikshit attributed his party's defeat in Delhi civic polls to a disconnect between the party and the people and BJP's success in taking advantage of scams like 2G spectrum and price rise.

He also said an environment was created by CAG reports and the anti-corruption movement led by Anna Hazare that made people the believe that itwas Congress which was the "centre of all the wrong" that was happening. "We tried our best to keep the issues local and focussed on MCD whereas BJP, because of the overall general climate that was there in the countryand in Delhi, focussed on price rise and 2G spectrum scam," the East Delhi MP said. "We have taken lot of proactive steps but somewhere communication between us and the people have broken down in last one and half to two years. I think we need to reestablish it," he said.

- Asian Tribune -

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