As the results of the April 23 voting for the three municipal corporation elections poured in on Wednesday, the party supporters did not break into a rapturous celebration, as is the normal practice, due to the Monday killing of 25 CRPF men in Chhattisgarh….writes Sidhartha Dutta and Ashish Mishra
However, it did not fail to take a dig at the AAP. A poster outside Delhi BJP office said ‘Delhi vasiyo badhai, Kejriwal ki hesiyat batai’ (congratualtions citizens of Delhi, put Kejriwal in place).
There were no bursting of crackers at the Delhi BJP office at Pandit Pant Marg since morning, or dancing to tune of drumbeats by party workers and supporters, or splashing of colour and distribution of sweets.
BJP leaders and workers paid floral tributes to the Central Reserve Police Force men killed in Maoist attack in Sukma. Union Ministers M. Venkaiah Naidu and Jitendra Singh were among those who came visiting.
Delhi BJP President Manoj Tiwari on Wednesday announced there would be no celebrations in view of the Chhattisgarh attack.
“We won’t celebrate this victory and dedicate it to the CRPF personnel who lost their lives in the Sukma attack. We are with their families,” Manoj Tiwari told reporters later.
The BJP won 181 of the 270 wards that polled on Sunday, way above the halfway mark to secure control of all the three Municipal Corporations of Delhi – North, South and East. The BJP won 64 of 103 wards in North, 70 of 104 in South and 47 of 63 in East.
The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) led by Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal could manage wins in just 48 wards and the Congress was way behind with 30 seats.
“We have decided not to celebrate the victory. We want to dedicate this victory to the CRPF jawans,” said Sunil Yadav, President of the Delhi unit of Bhartiya Janata Yuva Morcha.
Huge LCD screens were put up in makeshift tents where mediaperons and party workers were seated in groups, watching the counting trends.
Meanwhile, the AAP office at Rouse Avenue wore a deserted look as only a very few party volunteers could be seen there.
Barring national spokesperson Ashutosh, the party office saw no other AAP leader in the morning. There were no signs of preparations for any prospective celebrations either.
AAP top brass congregated at Kejriwal’s house following the party’s debacle in the civic polls, while the party office wore a desolate look.
Besides Kejriwal, other leaders present at his house included Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia, Dileep Pandey, Gopal Rai, Sanjay Singh, Raghav Chadha and Deepak Bajpai.
Later, several AAP MLAs and ministers including Satyendar Jain, Kapil Mishra, Imran Hussain, Alka Lamba, Nitin Tyagi, Rajesh Gupta, Sanjeev Jha reached the CM’s house and reviewed the poll results.
As poll results showed the AAP coming a distant second in the polls, Rai emerged from the house to tell the media that the BJP win was “due to EVM tampering”.
Even at the Delhi Congress office, which a few hundred meters away from the AAP’s, there were no top leaders except for some party volunteers.