OPINION | Delhi MCD results: Lessons for Kejriwal, BJP and Congress

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Image Source : India TV. opinion | Delhi MCD results: Lessons for Kejriwal, BJP and Congress

delhi mcd result: The Aam Aadmi Party on Wednesday captured the Municipal Corporation of Delhi, ending the BJP’s 15-year rule. Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s party won 134 seats in the 250-member municipal corporation, which commands the second largest civic body budget in India after Mumbai. The BJP managed to win 104 seats, which is much lower than its 2017 score of 181 seats.

The Congress was almost wiped out. It managed to win only a single digit score of nine seats compared to 31 seats it had won five years earlier. The Congress’s seat share was reduced by about a third. The BJP consoled itself by saying that though its seat share had gone down, its vote share had increased from 36.1 per cent to 39.1 per cent this time. AAP’s vote share increased from 26.2 per cent to 42.1 per cent.

The bottom line is clear: Kejriwal has won and the BJP has lost the MCD elections. But the important thing to note is that Kejriwal’s top ministers lost most of the wards in their respective constituencies.

Deputy CM Manish Sisodia, facing corruption charges in the liquor and school scams, lost three wards of his Patparganj constituency to the BJP. On Wednesday, Sisodia refrained from mentioning it, but said that “katar beimaan” (extremely corrupt) leaders were defeated and the people of Delhi voted for “katar honest” (extremely honest) leaders.

Another controversial minister in the Kejriwal cabinet, Sayendar Jain, currently resting inside Tihar Jail on charges of money laundering, was defeated by the BJP in all the three wards of his Shakur Basti constituency. Kailash Gehlot, the third minister named in the liquor and bus purchase scams, lost to BJP and independent candidates in all the four wards of his Najafgarh constituency.

AAP MLA Amanatullah Khan, named in the Delhi Waqf scam, lost 4 out of 5 wards in his Okhla constituency, two to the BJP and the remaining two to the Congress. The bottom line is that the voters of Delhi took the allegations of corruption against AAP leaders seriously. BJP leader Kapil Mishra said, the MCD election results clearly indicate the “beginning of the end” of the road for Arvind Kejriwal.

In his acceptance speech, Kejriwal took a cautious approach. He said, ‘We have to end corruption. It is a big responsibility. The people of Delhi have given us a message. We are a party of good and decent people. We do not do negative politics. We have shown that if we provide good schools and hospitals, we can get votes.

The results show that although the BJP circulated videos of Satyendar Jain inside Tihar Jail and exposed corruption charges against Sisodia, it had a dominant impact only in these leaders’ constituencies, but not in other constituencies. This does not mean that AAP leaders who are facing allegations after winning the MCD elections have got a clean chit from the public. It is the job of the courts to decide cases related to money laundering and corruption. These are the issues on which even Kejriwal will have to take a decision sooner or later.

In his acceptance speech, Kejriwal also indirectly indicated that his party AAP is emerging as a new political alternative in India. “Even after 75 years of independence, there has not been enough progress and people are not ready to wait any longer. Our party will prefer positive politics and provide better schools, hospitals and other facilities.

BJP leaders can give many reasons for losing the MCD elections, but I do not agree with most of their arguments. Kejriwal did not get as many seats in MCD as he had claimed. BJP may have got 30 seats less than AAP, but a win is a win.

There is no merit in the argument that the anti-incumbency factor worked in Delhi because of the BJP’s 15-year rule in the MCD. My answer: In Gujarat, the BJP has been ruling continuously for 27 years, and on Thursday it scored a historic, record-breaking landslide victory. The anti-incumbency wave did not work in Gujarat.

BJP will have to think afresh about Delhi. He lacks an influential personality in Delhi politics who can challenge Kejriwal. He has no answer to challenge Kejriwal’s proposal of ‘free electricity, free water’. The organizational structure of BJP in Delhi is not good. It lacks new leaders, and most of the old are completely out of touch with new voters. Despite all this, the BJP’s core voter base in Delhi is still with the party, and this is reflected in its increasing vote share.

One should not forget that Kejriwal’s party failed to win a single Lok Sabha seat from Delhi in the last two general elections. The people of Delhi fearlessly voted for Narendra Modi. These voters of Delhi supported Kejriwal in the assembly and MCD elections.

If there is one party that has steadily lost its core base in Delhi, it is the Congress. It is the Aam Aadmi Party which has taken advantage of the weaknesses of the Congress during the last ten years.

The BJP should worry about its performance in the seven Lok Sabha constituencies it won in Delhi in 2014 and 2019. The MCD results for the Lok Sabha seats of Gautam Gambhir, Manoj Tiwari and Dr. Harsh Vardhan show that the BJP’s performance in their wards was satisfactory, the performance was poor in the remaining four LS constituencies, and AAP defeated the BJP in most of the wards.

In Gautam Gambhir’s East Delhi constituency, the BJP won 21 out of 33 wards, while the AAP won nine. In Manoj Tiwari’s North East Delhi constituency, the BJP won 21 out of 41 wards, while the AAP won 17. In Harsh Vardhan’s Chandni Chowk constituency, the BJP won 16 out of 30 wards. The BJP’s worst performance was in minister Meenakshi Lekhi’s New Delhi constituency, where the AAP won 20 of the 25 wards, leaving five for the BJP.

In Pravesh Verma’s South West Delhi constituency, the AAP won 24 out of 38 wards, leaving 13 for the BJP. In Ramesh Bidhuri’s South Delhi constituency, AAP won 25 out of 40 wards, leaving 14 for the BJP. In Hansraj Hans’s North West Delhi constituency, AAP won 27 out of 43 wards, leaving 14 for the BJP.

BJP leader Manjinder Singh Sirsa claimed that there was no dearth in the policies, strategy and leadership of the party and that the party lost due to the poor performance of some of its sitting councillors.

Congress leaders in Delhi claim that their vote share has increased from 4 per cent in the assembly elections to 11.7 per cent in the MCD elections this time. Analyzing the data, it was found that the Congress got support from Muslim dominated areas. In other words, Muslim voters of Delhi have started shifting from Kejriwal to Congress.

Kejriwal had suggested during the Gujarat elections that the pictures of Lord Ganesha and Goddess Lakshmi should be printed on the currency notes. When the convicts in the Bilkis Bano gang-rape and murder case were released from Gujarat jails, they kept a complete silence. He also kept silence on the Delhi riots. The Muslim voters of Delhi have responded this time by electing the Congress instead of the AAP.

Kejriwal may have won the MCD elections, but his party’s vote share has dropped by 11 per cent compared to its vote share in the assembly elections. The BJP lost control of the MCD, reducing its number of seats, but increasing its vote share by one per cent. That means BJP’s core vote bank is intact in Delhi.

The vote share of the Congress may have increased, but the message is clear: there is no chance for the 137-year-old party in the near future. This time in the MCD elections, the deposits of 188 Congress candidates have been forfeited. The downfall of Congress continues in Delhi. Compared to the 2017 MCD voting percentage, the Congress share has come down from 21.1 to 11.7 per cent, a drop of nearly 10 per cent.

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