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BJP sweeps Delhi municipal elections

The BJP has retained all three corporations, north, south and east, with huge margins. The Arvind Kejriwal-led Aam Aadmi party has been completely routed Photograph: (WION)

WION Delhi, India Apr 26, 2017, 02.45 AM (IST)

The Congress, which finished a distant third in the MCD polls, has got around 11 per cent more votes than the 2015 Assembly election, while the AAP's vote share came down to half of its previous tally.

The Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP), which bagged 181 of 270 wards in all three civic bodies today, has managed to increase its vote share by around 5 per cent. The party's vote share was 32.2 per cent in the 2015 Assembly election.

In the Assembly polls, the vote share of the Congress was 9.7 per cent. It went up to 21.28 per cent in the MCD polls.

The Aam Aadmi Party's vote share came down to around 26 per cent from 54.3 per cent in Assembly polls.

The MCD poll results show that people have voted against the AAP government even as they have given their votes in favour of the BJP which has been ruling the civic bodies for the last 10 years.

In the 2012 MCD polls, Delhiites had voted for the BJP at a time when the Congress was in power in the national capital.

When the Delhi Assembly polls were held in 2013, people had voted against the Sheila Dikshit government with the BJP emerging as the largest party while the AAP was runner-up.

In 2013 Assembly polls, the BJP had won 32 seats while the AAP had got 28 seats even as the latter had formed its government with the help of the Congress.

In the 2015 Assembly election, the AAP had emerged victorious with 67 seats out of 70, decimating both the BJP and the Congress.

AAP cries foul

Meanwhile, AAP again cried foul over EVM tampering and rejected the idea of a Modi wave. Asserting that the BJP is winning because of the "rigged EVMs", Delhi transport minister Gopal Rai said that the saffron sweep in the civic polls is nothing less than a miracle which took place because the tampering of electoral machines.

AAP's Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal conceded defeat in the municipal elections but refrained from raising the EVM issue in his tweet.

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BJP chief Amit Shah thanked voters and said Modi's leadership has been accepted largely. "Voters rejected politics of excuse," he said.

The BJP president thanked the people of Delhi for the "huge scale" of BJP's victory. "This has gone beyond our expectations," he said.

Amit Shah said the Delhi verdict, which comes close on the heels of the BJP's success in the assembly polls in Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Goa and Manipur, has only taken forward the "Modi and BJP juggernaut".

Votes for the elections are being counted at 35 centres across the city. Of these, 16 are in north Delhi, 13 in the south, and six in east Delhi. Voting for three new municipal corporations in Delhi took place on Sunday, in which 54 percent of the 1.32 crore electorates exercised their franchise.

As many as 90,000 security personnel of Delhi Police, paramilitary forces and Home Guards have been deployed at counting centres.

On polling day, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal had attacked the State Election Commission claiming that reports of "faulty" EVMs were pouring in from across the national capital.

The Aam Aadmi Party chief also alleged that many voters with valid voter slips were "not allowed" to exercise their franchise in the municipal polls. Arvind Kejriwal had earlier demanded that the election be postponed till arrangements for VVPAT-equipped EVM were made.

The state election commission denied the charges.

"EVM has proved that its unhackable. It is a robust machine. Don't think there should be any question related to EVM," State Election commissioner S K Shrivastava said.

Polling did not take place in two wards, Maujpur in east Delhi and Sarai Pipal Thala in north Delhi where a candidate each of the Samajwadi Party died.

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), the Congress and the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) were the three main contenders in the fray.

After losing in this month's assembly by-polls and the February elections in Punjab and Goa, the municipal polls will be an acid test for Arvind Kejriwal-led Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) Government in Delhi.

Kejriwal's former party colleague Yogendra Yadav, who now leads the Swaraj India, wrote an open letter to the chief minister and challenged him to win at least 50 percent seats in the civic polls or step down.

Even as the Swaraj India and the Janata Dal (United) look to expand base beyond Bihar and Jharkhand, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), the AAP and the Congress have roped in top leaders and done whatever they could to woo the voters.

A total of 2,537 candidates were in the fray for the 104 seats each of the North Delhi Municipal Corporation and the South Delhi Municipal Corporation, and 64 seats of the East Delhi Municipal Congress.

For the first time in the MCD elections, the None Of The Above (NOTA) option has been made available.

The three civic bodies cover 68 of the 70 constituencies of the Delhi assembly. Two other smaller civic bodies are the Delhi Cantonment Board and the New Delhi Municipal Council. 

(WION with inputs from agencies)

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