MCD poll results: The dust settles after the result of the bitterly-fought Delhi Municipal Corporation (MCD) election 2022 is out on Wednesday. Arvind Kejriwal-led Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) wrested power from the Bharatiya Janta Party (BJP) which has been ruling the civic body for the last 15 years in the national capital.
AAP bagged 134 seats in the election ending BJP's control over MCD. However, the saffron party did put up a not-so-bad show by winning 104 seats as pollsters had asserted that there was a strong anti-incumbency which is later subscribed by exit polls prediction as well.
Meanwhile, the waning poll fortune of Congress that ruled Delhi for 15-year under Sheila Dikshit leadership continues as it reduced to 9 seats in the MCD.
End of triangular poll battle
Since AAP’s dawn in national capital’s polity, the poll battle in Delhi is always seen as triangular but in the last few elections, Congress’ failed to put up a spirited fight. In fact, it seems the grand old party’s participation in Delhi’s election is just a formality and Congress' top leadership brazenly ignored the campaigns. Subsequently, now upcoming Delhi poll battle will see two-sided fight between AAP and BJP.
Now, the million-dollar question is will today’s poll result change Delhi’s political equation? And will it have implications for the upcoming assembly election in the national capital?
The answer is the way BJP fought this election and used PM Modi’s name during the campaign and AAP, in a reply, left no stone unturned to counter the saffron party, it showed they never took the poll like ordinary civic polls. So, both parties, except weakening Congress, took the election like assembly or general elections.
The timing is a key
The timing of the MCD election result is crucial as General election and Delhi Assembly poll will be held in the next two years. AAP’s victory will help the party to build the atmosphere in its favor. Assembly election for all 70 constituencies is scheduled to be held before February 2025 and General Election by May 2024.
Broke the peculiar voting nature of Delhiites
Today’s results changed the peculiar voting nature of the people of Delhi. It was subjected to two queries that how a voter likes both AAP and BJP simultaneously for different polls. In Delhi, voters used to resort to different approaches for the different elections. In the assembly election, they vote for AAP, while in Lok Sabha election and civic poll, they choose BJP. Now, AAP broke the trend, and out of three layers, two are with Kejriwal's party.
AAP has its own double-engine government now
The coming months will be decisive as BJP being an Opposition party, will closely keep a watch and if AAP failed to deliver, the saffron party would use it to woo voters. Now, with having MCD in its purview, AAP controls cleanliness, education and health and it can’t blame BJP anymore. Pollution, cleaning of Yamuna, eradicating garbage mountain and of course the elimination of corruption from the civic body will be challengers for the AAP government.
The result surely upset saffron party brigades but despite facing a huge anti-incumbency wave, it managed to give a tough fight which shows Delhi BJP unit grew stronger in the last few months under the leadership of Adesh Gupta after the debacle of 2020 in which the saffron party won just 8 seats. But dependency on PM Modi also shows that the state unit failed to produce its own poster-boy, however, it is not only Delhi’s issue, several state units are facing the same crisis.
The silver lining in the cloud for BJP
BJP did well where it conducted an intense targeted campaign against corruption-tainted AAP leaders. BJP won 3 out of 4 wards under Patparganj in the East Delhi constituency which is considered a stronghold of Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia. AAP loses all three wards to BJP under jailed minister Satyendar Jain's constituency Shakur Basti. This gives big ammo to BJP against AAP as Kejriwal’s party calls its ‘Kattar Inmandar’ (staunch honest). BJP will use it to paint AAP as a corrupt party in the upcoming election.
Nothing has changed for the grand old party. Despite the change in guards at the top level, the Congress Delhi unit still did not come out from 2014 shockers.