New Delhi: In a huge blow to the Congress and the Sheila Dikshit government in the capital, the BJP has surged ahead in all the three municipal corporations of Delhi. The BJP would secure majority in East and North Delhi, and emerge as the single largest party in South Delhi as per the latest lead projections. The BJP is confident of getting the support of independents to cross the midway mark in South Delhi. The leads have given the party leaders the bragging rights and claiming that the Sheila government was on its way out.
Of the 123 results declared by State Election Commission out of 272 wards in all three corporations, BJP has bagged 68 while Congress has won 37 seats.
In East Delhi Corporation and North Delhi Corporation the BJP is eyeing majority with the Congress way behind. The BJP has won or is leading in 31 seats while Congress is ahead in only 14 seats in the East. The big surprise is that smaller parties are ahead of the Congress, leading in 20 seats. In North Delhi Corporation, which has 104 seats, BJP is ahead in 64 seats while Congress is ahead in 24 seats. Others are leading 16 wards.
In South Delhi Corporation, BJP has won or is leading in as many as 45 out of the 104 wards while Congress is ahead in only 28 seats. Interestingly, others are leading in 31 seats.
The civic election results would be a setback for the Congress as questions are bound to be raised about Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit's ability to deliver.
Shiela Dixit's detractors will now raise the ante against her in the run-up to 2013 assembly polls in the capital.
The BJP welcomed the verdict of the people, saying anti-Congress wave has helped the party in winning the election. BJP leader and Leader of Opposition in Delhi Assembly, VK Malhotra, said, "People are tired with the corruption and price hike. This result would see a repeat in the state elections as well as Lok Sabha polls. Trifurcation has fallen flat on Congress's face."
The BJP said that the stage was set for the Assembly elections as people want to throw out the Congress government. BJP President Nitin Gadkari said, "This will have national implications. The growing anti-corruption wave has helped us win and people have responded to that. People are tired and angry with the Congress government. We are hopeful of a historical victory in the Assembly polls and the Lok Sabha polls after that. It's a positive outcome."
BJP leader Vijender Gupta said that it's a clear referendum against the Congress, price rise and corruption. "Trifurcation of the MCD was not done properly. They tried to weaken the corporation."
Congress sought to downplay the results with party spokesperson Rashid Alvi saying that MCD polls should be seen only as civic polls.
Counting for 272 wards across 32 centres is taking place amid tight security and the results are expected to come later on Tuesday. The polls will decide the fate of 2,423 candidates contesting the polls.
The BJP, which had 164 councillors in the undivided MCD against Congress' 67 and Bahujan Samaj Party's (BSP) 17, had highlighted issues of corruption and price rise by the Delhi government led by Sheila Dikshit.
In the recently trifurcated civic body, there are 104 each wards in south and north corporations and 64 in the east, of which 138 seats are reserved for women. South Delhi has the highest number of 904 candidates followed by north (885) and east (634).
(With additional information from PTI and IANS)