NEW DELHI: The anti-Congress wave has helped the BJP beat anti-incumbency to win elections in all the three municipal corporations of Delhi.
The polls have resulted in a loss of face for Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit who had campaigned extensively in the run-up to the polls and turned the elections into a personality contest between her and the Opposition.
In 2011, Dikshit was successful in getting the assent of the Home Ministry in trifurcating the municipal corporation of Delhi (MCD), the second largest municipal corporation in the world after the Tokyo municipal corporation. This move was vociferously opposed by the Congress councillors in the MCD. But Dikshit, in her third consecutive term as Chief Minister of the capital, had her way in the end.
In her speeches during the campaign, Dikshit said that the trifurcation of the MCD would improve municipal administration in the capital. Party insiders say that the ‘cold war’ between Delhi Pradesh Congress Committee (DPCC) president Jai Prakash Agarwal and Dikshit also had an effect on the party’s performance.
In the run-up to the polls, the BJP had centred the whole campaign on the scams that the Congress leaders have been accused of and price rise. Delhi BJP chief Vijender Gupta had made a series of accusations against Sheila Dikshit alleging her and Delhi government’s involvement in the Common Wealth Games 2010 scam and land scams in the capital. The Delhi unit of the BJP also ran a campaign against the Congress on the issue of 2G spectrum scam and issue of rising prices of essential commodities. But more than anything, the Congress’ loss in the East Delhi municipal corporation has come as a rude shock to the Delhi Chief Minister. It was touted that the Congress would win the East Delhi municipal corporation. Dikshit’s son Sandeep Dikshit is a sitting Member of Parliament from East Delhi.
But, out of a total of 64 wards, the Congress could only win 19 seats, the BJP won 35 seats, BSP and others won seven seats each.
South Delhi Municipal Corporation, with 104 wards, was touted to be an open contest between the Congress and the BJP. There the BJP won 44 seats, Congress won 30 seats, BSP won five and others won 26 seats.
North Delhi area is a strong hold of the BJP. The party won 59 seats in a total of 104 wards.