MCD bypoll results a setback for us: BJP Delhi chief

The bypoll results of Municipal Corporations of Delhi have come as a setback for the BJP, which had been ruling the civic body for three consecutive terms. Results for five municipal wards, show that the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) has won four and the Congress won one municipal ward.

Terming the result as setback, Delhi BJP chief Adesh Gupta told the IANS out of five municipal wards four were with the AAP and one (Shalimar Bagh) is with the BJP but the party failed to retain it.

Gupta has accepted that the results did not come as per the party’s expectations and corrective steps will be taken after detailed analysis of reasons behind defeat.

“We’ve sought detailed reports from the poll in-charge of these five municipal wards asking to list the reasons for defeat. Once the report comes, we will identify the shortcomings and correct them before next year’s municipal polls,” Gupta said.

A senior Delhi BJP leader claimed that the rising fuel and cooking gas prices forced the urban poor to vote against the party. “During campaigning at several places, people complained about rising fuel and cooking gas prices. They asked us to request the union government to control the prices that were adversely affecting the household budget,” said Delhi BJP leaders.

Another leader pointed out that the disconnect with people found reflection in the results. “For last six months, we have been raising issues like AAP-led Delhi government stalling release of funds amounting to Rs 13,000 crore to the civic bodies or a scam of Rs 26,000 crore in Delhi Jal Board. But results show that people have other concerns and they did not believe the allegations levelled by us against the AAP government,” he said.

A senior Delhi BJP leader raised question over organizational functioning and said the humiliating defeat is result of not keeping checks and balances of reports submitted to the state leadership by the workers.

“There is no check on reporting of workers including office bearers. Everything is accepted without verifying the report submitted to state leadership. Even in a meeting held after Sunday polling, several leaders including office bearers made claims of party victory with huge margin. But the results show us a different picture,” he said.

The results have come as a shocker for the BJP which failed to open its account in the bypolls just a year before the civic polls in the national capital. In the 2017 municipal polls, the BJP won 181 seats out of 272. Since the 2007 municipal polls, the BJP has been ruling the civic bodies in Delhi.

“The humiliating defeat raised an alarm in the party ahead of next year’s municipal polls,” said a party insider.

Bypolls were held in Kalyanpuri, Trilokpuri, Chauhan Bangar, Rohini C and Shalimar Bagh North. Of these five seats, four fell vacant after the AAP councillors won assembly polls in February last year. The Shalimar Bagh seat has been vacant since the death of BJP’s Renu Jaju last year.