New Delhi: The MCD polls are being seen as an acid test for Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit. Delhi will soon know who will rule its three newly created municipal corporations. Counting of votes began on Tuesday and the exercise is being watched by the Congress and BJP with bated breath.
Counting of votes for 272 wards is taking place in 33 centres across the capital amid tight security and all results are expected to come by 3 pm.
Polling for all the wards spread in three corporations - East, South and North - were held on Sunday in which over 55 per cent polling was recorded.
Stakes are high for both the Congress and BJP, as it is being considered a semifinal ahead of the Assembly elections in 2013.
Both the Congress and BJP have claimed their parties would sweep the polls. Delhi Congress chief JP Agarwal has said he was "100 per cent confident" about his party's victory while his BJP counterpart Vijender Gupta was "certain" his camp was going to win all the three Corporations.
There are 104 each wards in South and North Corporations and 64 in the East, of which 138 seats are reserved for women. South has the highest number of 904 candidates followed by North (885) and East (634).
The municipal polls is seen as crucial for Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit and Congress as well as opposition BJP with leaders believing that it could be an indicator for what is in store for them in the Assembly polls which are 18 months away.
BJP, which has 164 councillors in the undivided MCD against Congress' 67 and BSP's 17, has been harping on alleged corruption by Dikshit government while Congress has been targeting the saffron party on its "inefficient and corrupt" administration in MCD.
In the 2007 polls to the undivided Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD), BJP had bagged 36.17 per cent of the around 42.35 lakh votes polled while Congress got 29.17 per cent. BSP's vote share was 9.87 per cent.
(With additional information from PTI)