The Aam Aadmi Party on Wednesday swept Delhi Municipal Corporation bye-polls, winning four out of the five wards. The Congress won the one remaining seat.
Voting was held in two wards – Rohini-C and Shalimar Bagh (North) – in the North Delhi Municipal Corporation, and three wards – Trilokpuri, Kalyanpuri and Chauhan Banger – in the East Delhi Municipal Corporation on February 28. The Shalimar Bagh (North) ward is reserved for women, and Trilokpuri and Kalyanpuri are reserved for the Scheduled Caste category.
AAP’s Dhirender Kumar won the Kalyanpuri ward by 7,259 votes. AAP’s candidate Sunita Mishra claimed the Shalimar Bagh (North) by defeating Surbhi Jaju of the Bharatiya Janata Party by 2,705 votes. The seat was earlier held by the BJP.
In Trilokpuri, AAP’s Vijay Kumar defeated BJP’s Om Prakash by a margin of 4,986 votes while Ram Chander of the AAP won against BJP nominee Rakesh Goyal by 2,985 votes in the Rohini-C ward.
Congress candidate Zubair Ahmad Chaudhary was declared the winner by 10,642 votes from Ward 041-E Chauhan Banger, according to ANI.
The voting was necessitated after AAP councillors in four wards became MLAs. In the fifth ward, the Bharatiya Janata Party councillor who held the Shalimar Bagh (North) seat had died.
The BJP is in control of all three corporations since 2012, when the Municipal Corporation of Delhi was divided into North, South and East corporations. In the 2017 elections, the BJP had won 181 seats, AAP 48 and Congress got 30.
The AAP celebrated the win, saying that Delhi has decided to throw BJP out of the MCD in 2022. Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal congratulated the people who, he said, voted in the name of development. “The public has been troubled by the 15-year BJP misrule in the MCD,” said Kejriwal. “People are now desperate to form the AAP government in the MCD as well.”
Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia congratulated the party workers for the win. “The people of Delhi are now saddened by the BJP’s rule,” he tweeted. “The public will bring Arvind Kejriwal’s honest and working politics in next year’s MCD elections.”
AAP MLA Atishi Marleena said the party will win all the three MCD seats in 2022. “We have seen Arvind Kejriwal’s model of development in the Delhi government and we are going to see it in the MCD as well,” she told News18.
BJP Delhi chief Adesh Gupta said the defeat was disheartening. “Four seats were already with AAP, but losing Shalimar Bagh was disheartening,” he told The Indian Express. He, however, added that there was still time to introspect and improve the party’s performance in the 2022 municipal elections.
On Sunday when the voting was held, 50.86% turnout was recorded. Delhi Election Commissioner SK Srivastava said that special arrangements were made for coronavirus-positive voters but none showed up to cast their votes.
The highest voter turnout was recorded in Kalyanpuri and the lowest in Shalimar Bagh (North). Abound 2.42 lakh people were eligible to cast their votes at 327 polling stations. Twenty-six candidates across different parties were in the fray.