The initial counting of votes today for the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) elections showed the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in a close contest in the 250 wards in the national capital. As per the results declared by the State Election Commission, BJP bagged 99 seats while the AAP clinched 126. The Congress came in a distant third position. MCD elections for 250 wards were held on December 4. Exit polls suggested the AAP to wrest the MCD from the BJP in a clean sweep.
Expressing confidence over BJP’s win, Delhi’s party chief Adesh Gupta said they had campaigned well and done good work on the ground. “People of Delhi have put a stamp of approval on the work done by the BJP in the last 15 years," Indian Express quoted Gupta as saying. He added that the BJP would win and make the mayor.
Speaking to The Times of India, Gupta said he trusted the people of Delhi. “We raised issues, exposed AAP's corruption & revealed their failures. We're going to come to power in MCD, for the 4th time.”
Senior AAP leader Manish Sisodia thanked the people of Delhi for voting his party to victory in the MCD polls and said it was their mandate that helped it defeat the "world's biggest and most negative party".
"Heartfelt gratitude to the people of Delhi for trusting Aam Aadmi Party in Delhi MCD…By defeating the world's biggest and most negative party, the people of Delhi have made a hardcore honest and working @ArvindKejriwalji win," Sisodia said in a tweet in Hindi, targeting the BJP.
AAP MLA Saurabh Bhardwaj said the trends keep changing while the votes are being counted. “Overall, we are confident of crossing (winning over) 180 wards," NDTV quoted Bhardwaj as saying.
"Today, a small party, a poor, honest and educated party, has defeated the world's biggest party. This was a straight fight between the BJP and the AAP," Aam Aadmi Party leader Raghav Chadha told reporters outside the party office. " Look who came to celebrate Delhi Municipal poll victory with us.." he tweeted.
BJP leader and party spokesperson Tajinder Pal Singh Bagga said the party would wait for the results to be announced. “Let's wait, we will not make big false claims like AAP and its leader Manish Sisodia. Once the results are clear, not only the BJP office, entire Delhi will be decorated and celebrations will begin,” Indian Express quoted Bagga as saying, taking a swipe at AAP’s move to decorate the party office in anticipation of a win.
Bagga said the party was hoping to win more than 150 (seats) in the MCD elections.
"There is absolutely no doubt in our minds that people of Delhi have voted for us and that we would certainly hold the mayor position in the MCD,” News18 quoted AAP spokesperson Brijesh Kalappa as saying.
"We are not celebrating too early like AAP. It is a long way to go," News18 quoted BJP spokesperson Anuja Kapur as saying. She added that the BJP has always won because of the work they have done.
"When 50 percent of Delhi has not voted, it shows discontentment with both (AAP, BJP) parties," Congress spokesperson Neeraj Mishra told News18.
Congress MP from East Delhi Gautam Gambhir also reacted to the MCD elections. He congratulated East Delhi and said BJP will clean the garbage mountain in Ghazipur. 'Jai Hind,' the MP tweeted.
In 2017, MCD elections were conducted in three municipal corporations in Delhi for 270 wards. In the North Delhi Municipal Corporation, the BJP won 64 seats, while the AAP won 21. In South Delhi Municipal Corporation, AAP lagged behind with 16 while the BJP clinched 70. The BJP bagged 47 seats in East Delhi Municipal Corporation, while AAP won 11.
This year, the three erstwhile municipal corporations were reunified by the Centre and the number of municipal wards was reduced to 250 after the delimitation exercise.