The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Wednesday registered a thumping victory in all the three municipal corporations in Delhi by winning over 180 seats, crossing its existing strength of 138 as it decimated the AAP and the Congress. The party has crossed the halfway mark of the total number of seats.
After the BJP recorded a significant victory, Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed gratitude to the people of Delhi by reposing faith in the BJP and ensuring its resounding victory in MCD polls.
"Grateful to the people of Delhi for the faith in BJP. I laud the hardwork of team @BJP4Delhi which made the resounding MCD win possible," he tweeted.
Later, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal congratulated BJP for the victory in all three civic bodies.
He tweeted: "I congratulate BJP on their victory in all 3 MCDs. My govt looks forward to working wid MCDs for the betterment of Delhi.(Sic)"
According to latest trends, the Aam Aadmi Party finished second in the municipal polls with 45 seats, followed by the Congress with 30.
The BJP has bagged 65 seats in the North MCD. Though the Aam Aadmi Party managed to win 20, the Congress bagged 15 seats in NDMC.
In East Delhi Municipal Corporation (EDMC), BJP got 48 seats while AAP and Congress won 3 and three wards respectively.
BJP managed to win 104 seats in South Delhi where AAP got 15 seats. Congress got 12 seats in the SDMC.
BJP president Amit Shah has said the people of Delhi have rejected the negative politics and put their seal of approval on Prime Minister Narendra Modi's 'Sabka saath, sabka vikas' programme.
"This is an unprecedented win for the BJP. I express my gratitude to the people of Delhi. This is the victory of Modiji's leadership," he said reacting to the BJP's victory in the MCD polls.
"The people of Delhi have rejected the negative politics and the politics of excuses and helped Modiji's 'vijay rath' to move forward. It is a recognition of Modiji's leadership," he said.
Expressing gratitude to the people of Delhi, Shah said "In MCD's three municipal bodies, they have given us the victory with unexpected majority."
"Following wins in the assembly elections for Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Goa and Manipur, this victory in Delhi municipal polls has put a seal on Modiji's inclusive governance over the last three years," Shah said at a press conference in Kolkata.
He congratulated the BJP's Delhi unit president Manoj Tiwary and all other party functionaries for the win.
Meanwhile, the BJP dedicated its impending win to the slain CRPF personnel in Chhattisgarh's Sukma district and decided to refrain from any celebrations.
Delhi BJP chief Manoj Tiwari said that every heart is filled with grief over Monday's killing of 25 CRPF men by Naxals in Sukma and the party will not celebrate the victory.
"But for the Sukma incident, we would be on the streets celebrating this massive victory. We dedicate this win in the feet of Sukma martyrs," he said.
'AAP's humiliating defeat'
The AAP was on Wednesday handed a severe drubbing in the MCD polls by the BJP, triggering charges of "EVM manipulation" from the Arvind Kejriwal-led party amid murmurs of dissent within its ranks.
The AAP's humiliating defeat plunged the party into a crisis even as its top leadership put up a brave front suggesting it was all expected due to tampering with EVMs, an allegation that has been rubbished by the Election Commission.
"EVM tampering is the bitter truth of the country's democracy. One can crack jokes on us initially, but fearing being made fun of, we cannot refrain from speaking the truth," Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia told reporters.
However, a section of the party, including senior leaders, privately distanced themselves from the official line on pinning the entire blame for its defeat on alleged EVM manipulation.
The discontent within the party ranks is yet to come into the open, however, Chandni Chowk MLA Alka Lamba's offer to resign owing "responsibility" for the debacle indicated towards an impending churning.
Staring at a rout, merely two years into its astounding performance in the assembly polls, the party got into a huddle at Chief Minister Kejriwal's residence to hammer out the next course of action, which may involve agitation over EVMs as already indicated by him.
The party had bagged 67 seats in the 70-member Delhi Assembly.
Senior minister in the Delhi government Gopal Rai said an "EVM wave" is sweeping across the city, giving a new twist to political pundits attributing the BJP's recent string of success to a "Modi wave", or the popularity of the prime minister.
"This isn't a Modi wave, this is an EVM wave. The same happened in Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand. It is a major threat against democracy. The rights of the electorate will have to be ensured. The BJP wants to demolish democracy," Rai told reporters.
Senior adviser to the AAP government, Nagendar Sharma, tweeted: "Sweeping Delhi MCD polls without sweeping Delhi's streets for a decade. When machines are with you human will is of no relevance."
Howver, admitting defeat, Delhi Water Minister Kapil Mishra, who lost three out of five wards in his constituency, said the newly elected MCDs and the Delhi government must now work in tandem for the betterment of the people.
The party's near-certain defeat comes barely two weeks into its drubbing in the Rajouri Garden Assembly bypoll and two years after it registered a thumping victory in the assembly polls winning 67 seats in the 70-member Delhi Assembly.
Arvind Kejriwal hasn't made any comment on the results of MCD polls.
'Blamegame begins in Congress'
DPCC chief Ajay Maken offered to resign from his post, accepting moral responsibility for the Congress' dismal performance in the civic polls.
"It is a reasonable revival of the Congress but I had hoped for something better than this. I had expected to perform a little better.
"So, as the president of Delhi Congress, I take moral responsibility and offer to resign from my post. I have decided to resign from my post," Maken said.
Congress leader and Former Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit has blamed lack of involvement of the local leadership for the MCD poll debacle.
"The party was not able top reach out (to voters) the way we should have. Any excuse can be given when you don't want to do anything. The decision has to be taken by the high command. The leadership needs to introspect," she said.
The former Delhi Chief Minister rued that Maken failed to involve senior leaders including her in campaigning for the polls.
"I was not asked for campaigning then how could have I gone for it," Dikshit said.
The Congress also failed to reach out to the voters she alleged, saying that the party High Command will look into the whole matter.
Congress' incharge of Delhi affairs P C Chacko has also resigned from his post, owning responsibility for the party's dismal show in the MCD polls.
He sent his resignation to party president Sonia Gandhi and vice chief Rahul Gandhi.
He said the party should introspect and ascertain the reasons for its defeat in Delhi and redefine its future strategy.