The BJP’s victory sweep in the civic polls saw most Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) ministers fail to ensure victory for the AAP candidates in their own constituencies….writes Anurag Dey
Riding on the ‘Modi wave’, the BJP won 181 of the 270 wards that went to the polls to storm to power in the three municipal corporations for third term in a row. The AAP with just 48 wards came a distant second with the Congress ending up third, bagging just 30 seats.
The BJP won 64 of 103 wards in North Delhi Municipal Corporation, 70 of 104 in South Delhi Municipal Corporation and 47 of 63 in East Delhi Municipal Corporation.
Barring Food & Supplies Minister Imran Hussain, four of the AAP ministers, including Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia, conceded ground in their own constituencies to the BJP.
Of the four wards in Sisodia’s constituency Patparganj, the AAP could win only one with the rest all going to the BJP.
State Labour Minister Gopal Rai suffered a similar fate with BJP winning three of the four wards in his constituency Babarpur.
Tourism Minister Kapil Mishra, who has five wards in his constituency Karawal Nagar, saw only two of AAP candidates winning with the BJP bagging the rest three.
The worst sufferer was Health Minister Satyendar Jain in whose constituency Shakur Basti, all the three AAP candidates bit the dust.
Minister Hussain turned out to be the saving grace for the AAP with two of three wards in his constituency Ballimaran going to his party with the third won by Congress.
Hussain could save his constituency as it consists largely of Muslims.
AAP MLA from Chandi Chowk Alka Lamba too suffered the ignominy of seeing her party candidates losing all the three wards in her constituency.
Owning up moral responsibility for the defeat, she offered to quit from all party posts. While the others ministers have not said anything on the defeat, Sisodia alleged that Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) were rigged in favour of the BJP.
“Without rigging, such a massive win is not possible,” Sisodia said, reiterating the accusations the party has been raising since AAP’s defeat in the Punjab and Goa assembly polls.
Putting up a brave face and accepting defeat, Kejriwal congratulated the BJP for its victory.
Kejriwal who has been up in arms against the Election Commission as well as the BJP over EVM tampering, however, remained silent on the issue.
While the AAP has continued to blame EVM tampering for its electoral debacle, social activist Anna Hazare blamed his former protege Kejriwal’s “quest for power” for the crushing defeat.
“People gave him a mandate and he got an opportunity to turn Delhi into a model state for the entire country to replicate. But power is bad. Once you sit in the chair, you lose your power of thinking,” said Hazare.
“Instead of working for Delhi, he started thinking about capturing power in Punjab and Goa.
There was no need for him to hurry. But he was in a hurry and people realised that it is power in his mind and not society or the country,” said Hazare and also dismissed allegations of EVM tampering.