POLITICS

BJP Sweeps Delhi Civic Polls, AAP Alleges EVM Tampering Again

The poll win is the latest in a series of BJP election victories credited largely to Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

26/04/2017 3:00 PM IST | Updated 26/04/2017 3:18 PM IST
Hindustan Times via Getty Images

NEW DELHI -- Riding on a Modi wave, the BJP was on Wednesday headed for a clean sweep of the Delhi civic polls and was set to retain the three municipal corporations for the third term in a row, as predicted in exit polls. The AAP has alleged widespread tampering of EVMs in favour of the BJP.

As counting progressed, the Bharatiya Janata Party was declared victorious in six wards and was leading in over 140 of the 270 that went to polls on 23 April, Delhi State Election Commission officials said.

The AAP was at a distant second, leading in 40 and had won one ward. The Congress was ahead in 28 wards.

In the East Delhi Municipal Corporation, the BJP has won two wards -- Ramnagar and Krishnanagar. In the South Delhi Municipal Corporation, it won three wards -- Janakpuri West, Janakpuri South and Vishnu Garden. In North Delhi Municipal Corporation, the saffron party has won Rajinder Nagar.

The AAP pocketed Shakurpur in North Delhi Municipal Corporation.

The AAP's defeat comes more than two years after the Delhi Assembly elections, when the fledgling political outfit humiliated the BJP winning 67 of the 70 Delhi assembly polls when it got a huge 54% of the votes. The BJP won three seats that year but registered 33% of the vote share.

The poll win is the latest in a series of BJP election victories credited largely to Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Delhi BJP chief Manoj Tiwari, credited for the party's win, said the AAP's defeat reflected how the party had "failed the people of Delhi". He sought the resignation of Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and promised that the new elected civic body would "clean the city in four months".

"We will make Delhi a clean city in the next four months. It will be a hygienic, dirt and disease free city," Tiwari said.

Apparently surprised over its defeat in the civic polls, the AAP alleged that Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) were rigged in favour of the BJP -- an accusation it has been levelling since its defeat in Punjab and Goa assembly polls.

"Without rigging, such a massive win is not possible," AAP leader and Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia told reporters.

He said it was "unbelievable" that the BJP could return to power in the civic bodies with such a massive win even as the MCD in the last 10 years had failed to maintain the upkeep of the city.

"They gave the city nothing but chikungunya and dengue," he said.

Delhi Congress chief Ajay Maken took moral responsibility for the party's poor show and announced he was resigning from his post.

"I will submit my resignation to the Congress President and Vice-President shortly," Maken told reporters.

The win in Delhi's civic polls has boosted the BJP's prospects for the 2019 Lok Sabha elections after the party scored major electoral victories in Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand. The party also formed new governments in Goa and Manipur.

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