New Delhi, May 17 (IANS) The BJP suffered losses in the civic bypolls in Delhi, retaining only three of 13 seats with the Aam Aadmi Party winning five in its maiden outing and Congress improving its position by winning four seats.
One seat was won by an independent candidate Rajender Singh Tanwar, who later joined the Congress.
Elections to the 13 seats were held on May 15 and results were declared by the state election commission on Tuesday. The elections were being seen as a semi-final to the civic polls next year.
Twelve of 13 newly-elected councilors are first timers.
Soon after the results were declared, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said that people had reaffirmed their faith in his AAP.
“MCD ruled by BJP-Cong. Outsider AAP wins max seats in byelection. Thnx Delhi for reaffirming faith. Ab MCD election mein sabhi seat jeetni h,” Kejriwal said in a tweet.
Congress too interpreted the outcome in its favour with Delhi unit chief Ajay Maken saying that hard work of party workers had paid off. He also gave credit to Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi for the party’s performance.
“Immense hard work of our workers & wisdom of Delhites has won against money, muscle &administrative power of AAP & BJP!”
“Rahul ji visited/supported striking SafaiKaramcharis, agitating Street Vendors/Slum Dwellers- They’ve responded now!,” Maken said in a series of tweets.
The Congress had faced a rout in the last year’s assembly elections and has been making efforts for electoral revival in the city. None of the wards which went to the polls on May 13 were with the Congress.
The results were not to the expectations of BJP which has been ruling the civic body since 2007.
It could retain only two of seven wards it won in 2012 civic polls, while wresting one seat.
However, the party finished second on eight seats and had the highest vote share. BJP had vote share of 34.11 percent followed by AAP with 29.93 percent and Congress 24.87 percent.
Delhi BJP chief Satish Upadhyay said that results indicated that people have distanced themselves from the AAP.
“Election results indicate that people of Delhi have distanced from the politics of arrogance, anarchy and lies of AAP,” he said.
The 13 wards – spread across Delhi with seven falling under South Delhi Municipal Corporation, four under North Delhi Municipal Corporation and two under East Delhi Municipal Corporation – fell vacant after the corporators resigned to contest the Delhi assembly polls in 2013 and 2014.
The winners from AAP are Mohammed Sadiq (Ballimaran), Ashok Kumar (Vikas Nagar), Ramesh (Matiala), Anil Malik (Nanakpura) and Abhishek Bidhuri (Tehkhand), while Mahender Nagpal (Wazirpur), Bhupinder Mohan Bhandari (Shalimar Bagh) and Krishan Gehlot (Nawada) of the BJP emerged victorious.
The Congress’ winners are Ashok Bhardwaj (Qamaruddin Nagar), Yogita Rathee (Munirka), Anand Kumar (Khichripur) and Pankaj (Jhilmil).
Tanwar, who won as an independent from Bhati ward, declared soon after the results that he was joining the Congress.