March 4, 2021 2:06:54 am
The results hold significance since municipal polls in the city are scheduled to be held a year later. BJP, which has won the last three times, is battling AAP, which despite having won three consecutive Assembly polls, had not managed to score a convincing win in the local polls, till Wednesday.
Polls were held in two wards in the North Delhi Municipal Corporation (NDMC) — Rohini-C and Shalimar Bagh (North) — and three wards in the East Delhi Municipal Corporation (EDMC) — Trilokpuri, Kalyanpuri and Chauhan Bangar — on February 28. The voter turnout was 50.86 per cent.
AAP retained two seats, Kalyanpuri and Trilokpuri, and won Rohini C, which was earlier with BSP but was vacated when its councillor won an assembly seat on an AAP ticket last year. AAP’s most heartening win came from the Shalimar Bagh ward, a BJP stronghold.
AAP’s Sunita Mishra defeated Surbhi Jaju of BJP in Shalimar Bagh ward by 2,705 votes; Dhirender Kumar won the Kalyanpuri ward by 7,043 votes; Vijay Kumar from Trilokpuri defeated BJP’s Om Prakash by a margin of 4,986 votes; and Ram Chander of AAP defeated BJP candidate Rakesh Goyal by 2,985 votes in Rohini C.
The Chauhan Bangar ward, which was earlier won by AAP, sprung a surprise for the party with the Congress candidate Chaudhary Zubair Ahmad defeating AAP’s Mohammad Ishraq Khan by a margin of 10,642 votes. The only ward to go for bypolls in North East Delhi, which saw riots days after AAP was elected in the state for its third consecutive term last year, Chauhan Bangar saw people come out in support of Congress, rejecting both AAP and BJP.
BJP, meanwhile, had suffered not just in terms of seats but also in terms of vote share. For the two seats in the North corporation, AAP got a 48% vote share while this was around 37% for BJP. In the East corporation, AAP got a 45% vote share, Congress 30% and BJP 21%.
AAP national convener and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said that the results showed that people are “fed up” of BJP’s “incompetence” in the MCDs. “The people of Delhi are very happy with the work done by AAP in the last six years, which is why they have given four seats to the AAP. If someone asks about the achievements of AAP, people from across the country will tell you how we have improved schools, hospitals, electricity, water, and roads,” he said.
Delhi BJP chief Adesh Gupta, meanwhile, said that the party would have to think about what led to the losses. “Four seats were already with AAP, but the loss in Shalimar Bagh needs to be introspected,” he said.
Gupta added that there was enough time to improve the party’s performance before the 2022 municipal polls.
Delhi Congress chief Anil Chaudhry said that Delhiites were now looking towards the Congress as an alternative in 2022.
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