Delhi MCD Results: Arvind Kejriwal's AAP Wins MCD Polls, BJP's 15-years Rule Comes To An End

The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) has secured a majority in the Municipal Corporation of Delhi polls (MCD elections). However, the margin is not as wide as exit polls had predicted and its principal opposition the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has also crossed the 100-mark.

Aam Aadmi Party supporters celebrate the MCD election at the AAP party office in New Delhi

The Arvind Kejriwal-led Aam Admi Party (AAP) has won the Municipal Corporation of Delhi polls (MCD elections) by winning 134 of the told 250 MCD wards, according to final MCD results.

The AAP had emergeda as the winner by 2 pm when it crossed the majority-mark of 126. The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is second in MCD results tally with 104 seats, according to final figures from the State Election Commission (SEC).

While the AAP has won as exit polls had predicted, the margin is much narrow. Exit polls had predicted the BJP to be a distant second but the results show that it put up a spirited fight.

These are the first elections in Delhi since the 2020 Northeast Delhi Riots and the unification of Delhi's three civic bodies into one MCD. The elections were seen as a battle of prestige for the BJP and an opportunity for AAP to strengthen its case against the BJP nationally. 

Kejriwal, AAP leaders in a huddle

AAP convenor and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal held a meeting of senior party leaders to finalise the strategies, according to reports, which add that Deputy CM Manish Sisodia, Punjab CM Bhagwant Mann, and senior leader Raghav Chadha rushed to Kejriwal's residence in early hours of counting. 

Kejriwal and AAP were counting on winning MCD elections to consolidate their hold over the Delhi politics and to emerge as a direct challenger to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP in 2024 national elections. With victory in Punjab and inroads in Gujarat, the AAP had been counting on winning MCD elections to further bolster its case against Modi and BJP. 

AAP contested the MCD elections on the promise of clean and corruption-free Delhi. The BJP’s bet was, however, on the alleged excise scam and the alleged involvement of AAP leaders into it. It also deployed its who's who in MCD elections campaign, ranging from top Delhi BJP leaders to Union ministers and chief ministers of BJP-run states. Despite such efforts, the BJP has fallen short of the majority-mark.

AAP has accused BJP of trying to topple his government. Prior to the elections, Enforcement Directorate (ED) and Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) several times raided the houses of senior AAP leaders including deputy CM Manish Sisodia. However, the chargesheet of CBI submitted to a special court in the liquor scam case didn’t mention Sisodia’s name.

Expected setback for Congress

The Congress won nine seats, down from 30 in 2017. As per expectations, the party's tally remained within single digits. 

However, the Congress party appears to have regained support from the Muslim electorate of Delhi. Congress candidate, and a student of Jamia Milia Islamia, Ariba Khan won from Abul Fazl Enclave of Jamia Nagar, a muslim-dominated locality. The political analysts are of the opinion that the recent trend of Kejriwal to embrace Hindutva had not been taken by the Muslim voters in a good manner. 

Kejriwal's silence during the Shaheen Bagh movement against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), 2019 and his keeping away from the 2020 Northeast Delhi Riots were not well received and affected his vote bank in the Muslim-dominated areas. Notably, the voters have gone back to Congress in these localities. 

Celebratory mood in AAP camp

On the day of the results, just like the previous times, the AAP office were decorated and one could observe there a new slogan - ‘Acche Hoge 5 saal, MCD mein bhi Kejriwal’.

In the initial stage of the counting, it was a very neck to neck fight - sometimes leading to the apprehension that BJP might retain its 15 years' old bastion. However, with the time, the trends changed to favour AAP, though the results are not as pollsters had predicted.

(With PTI inputs)