Further cementing the disappearance of the Congress from a city it once governed, the party ended up with just nine of the 250 wards in the MCD election results declared on Wednesday, which also saw a sharp dip in its vote share.
In 2017, when the MCD was a three-corporation body, the Congress had won overall 30 seats and had a vote share of around 21%. It has ended up with 11.68% votes this time, with clearly no one persuaded by the party’s tactic of harking Sheila Dikshit’s legacy as a last-minute sort.
The Congress even lost ground to the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) in parts of Old Delhi where it traditionally held strong and where it had picked up several wards in 2017. Sitaram Bazar, which elected a Congress councillor in 2007, 2012 and 2017, voted for the AAP this year. Similarly, the Congress lost Delhi Gate, Jama Masjid and Daryaganj wards it had won in 2017 to the AAP.
The wards which the party retained include Northeast Delhi’s Mustafabad, Southwest Delhi’s Aya Nagar and Zakir Nagar in Southeast Delhi. The Congress also won from Northeast Delhi’s Brijpuri which, along with Mustafabad and riot-hit areas in 2020, recorded a polling percentage of more than 60% this year.
In Andrews Ganj, where Congress leader Abhishek Dutt served as the councillor for two consecutive terms, the party lost to the AAP candidate.
There were some seats that the Congress wrested from the BJP and AAP – Shastri Park and Nihal Vihar, which the BJP had won in 2017, and Chauhan Banger and Abul Fazal Enclave, where the Congress replaced the AAP.
The Congress election pitch was a return to, what party leaders called, a cleaner, greener city under Sheila Dikshit. While a three-time CM, Dikshit had been sidelined in the party amidst the rise of AAP. The Congress has never really recovered since. If the MCD has not been in its control since 2002, it won zero seats in the last Assembly elections in 2020.