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MCD Election 2017 highlights: Voting ends in Delhi; dismal turnout, faulty EVMs remain talking points

As Delhi goes to vote in the crucial MCD election on Sunday, the fate of AAP, BJP and Congress hangs in the balance.

FP Staff April 23, 2017 18:26:10 IST
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MCD Election 2017 highlights: Voting ends in Delhi; dismal turnout, faulty EVMs remain talking points

Highlights

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Apr 26, 2017 - 10:51 (IST)

'EVM allegations reflect Kejriwal's mental insolvency'

Mahesh Giri, BJP MP, said that Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal's allegations of Electronic Voting Machines (EVM) tampering is a manifestation of his mental insolvency. 

Apr 26, 2017 - 10:44 (IST)

Celebrations break out at various counting centres in the city. Trends show BJP will secure a landslide victory in the MCD polls, while AAP and Congress fight neck and neck for second place.

Apr 26, 2017 - 10:34 (IST)

Apr 26, 2017 - 10:30 (IST)

Advantage AAP; Disadvantage AAP

Though the AAP might have gained credence for delivering in Delhi, with two factors working strongly in its favour – free water subsidised electricity – the same is not showing in terms of its MCD performance.

The people of Delhi seem generally happy with these deliverables as they have benefited Delhi voters a lot.

However, a large section of voters in Delhi, including AAP insiders, feel that Delhi CM and AAP supremo Arvind Kejriwal's dictatorial and unilateral decisions and adverse comments against PM Narendra Modi have gone against the party. They believe that it is not the party's performance but rather Kejriwal who is behind the AAP's demise.

Apr 26, 2017 - 10:29 (IST)

AAP must be a gracious loser: Yogendra Yadav 

Swaraj India leader Yogendra Yadav told the media that his former party, AAP, must be a gracious loser.

"AAP must show grace and accept defeat," he said, adding that there was "no indication that EVMs were tampered with in Delhi." Yadav continued, "AAP needs to introspect, it is not right to blame others."

Apr 26, 2017 - 10:24 (IST)

AAP supporters celebrate outside Shriram Colony at Yamuna Vihar

http://www.firstpost.com/politics/mcd-election-2017-results-aap-supporters-celebrate-victory-in-yamuna-vihar-3405046.html/embed

Apr 26, 2017 - 10:13 (IST)

If EVM decides democracy, it's a dangerous trend: Gopal Rai

AAP minister Gopal Rai has dismissed notions that the Modi wave that has been sweeping state after state (with a few exceptions) is responsible for the saffron party's performance in the civic election. "AAP winning or losing is a small thing. But if EVM decides democracy, then it is a dangerous trend... This is not the Modi wave, this is an EVM wave."

The minister added, "For 10 years, BJP has been ruling the MCD. The way they have won today, it's only due to the EVM wave."

Apr 26, 2017 - 10:06 (IST)

Dejected Congress supporters outside ward 64E, Shriram Colony at Yamuna Vihar. All trends show that BJP is set to secure a landslide victory in the MCD election.

Apr 26, 2017 - 10:03 (IST)

Apr 26, 2017 - 10:02 (IST)

AAP volunteers remain optimistic

In spite of the early trends of the MCD election say, the volunteers of AAP remain optimistic that their party would do well in the MCD election.

"Even in the 2015 Delhi Assembly elections, trends of the results and the media didn't predict the correct numbers. But, we proved everyone wrong. So, let us wait till the final result is out," said Sunil Kumar, an AAP volunteer outside the party office .

The day of the high stake municipal polls in Delhi is here and, on Sunday, people of the National Capital will elect its municipal councillors, in what has turned out to be a triangular contest, the political ramifications of which will go much beyond the city's borders.

The campaign in the lead up to the election saw three main players emerge – AAP, BJP and the Congress –  and was marked by rancour as the verdict will reshape the political equations in the country's power capital.

It will determine whether the electoral sway of Arvind Kejriwal-led AAP – which had stunned all by bagging 67 seats in the 2015 Assembly polls out of 70 – still holds and if the Rajouri Garden defeat in the recent bypoll was just because of the hostile constituency dynamics.

For the ruling BJP, holding on to power and fighting a decade-long anti-incumbency wave is a challenge and an opportunity to blunt Kejriwal's attempts to emerge as the principal adversary of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

The Congress, which has considerably increased its vote share in polls held after 2015, where it was reduced to zero seats, is hoping to gain its lost ground and make its presence felt, despite unabated infighting.

Addressing the booth-level workers, BJP chief Amit Shah had said a favourable verdict could be a stepping stone to victory in the next Assembly election in the city. The run-up to the polls have also been dominated by allegations of tampered EVMs, made by Kejriwal, a charge rejected by the Election Commission.

The Generation-1 electronic voting machines (EVMs) are to be used for the MCD elections, which the poll body has described as "fool proof". The State Election Commission is gearing up to carry out the electoral exercise, that will be spread over 13,000 booths spanning 272 wards.

Over 1.3 crore people are eligible to vote in the polls and of them, more than 1.1 lakh are first-time voters. Out of the 13,022 polling stations, police authorities have declared 3,284 as sensitive and 1,464 as hypersensitive.

For the first time in MCD elections, none of the above (NOTA) option will be available. The total number of registered electorate for the civic polls stands at 1,32,10,206 which include 73,15,915 men, 58,93,418 women and 793 voters in the other category.

This would be the first civic poll after the latest delimitation which has redrawn the civic wards. As per the new delimitation exercise, based on the 2011 Census, each ward now has an average of 60,000 people with an estimated 40,000 voters. Delhi has 70 Assembly seats and before the delimitation, every constituency had four wards, but, now it ranges from 3-7. The erstwhile unified Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) was trifurcated in 2012 into North, South and East Municipal Corporations. While NDMC and SDMC have 104 wards each, EDMC has 64.

Earlier, during campaigning, the BJP fielded several senior leaders to seek votes in Delhi. Party president Amit Shah was scheduled to address an election rally in south-west Delhi’s Dwarka along with party leader and Bhojpuri film actor Ravi Kishan on Thursday, though it was cancelled as Shah was reportedly unwell. Senior party leader Smriti Irani was brought in his place to bolster the campaign. Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh also held election rallies in Kirari and Mustafabad.

Rajnath, speaking at the rallies, had said that the Modi government took tough decisions in the past year, including surgical strike and demonetisation and got massive support of people.

MCD Election 2017 highlights Voting ends in Delhi dismal turnout faulty EVMs remain talking points

Representational image. Agencies

"People of Delhi have been deprived of inclusive development during the last two years because Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government did not take benefits of central schemes to the poor," he said.

Other Union ministers and senior party leaders including Venkaiah Naidu, Uma Bharti, Harsh Vardhan, Santosh Gangwar and Sanjiv Balyan, also addressed rallies in different parts of the city on Friday.

The Kejriwal-led party has been looking to wrestle more power in the capital by taking control of the civic bodies from BJP, which they say will allow them to 'better govern and develop the city'.

AAP recently released its manifesto at a press conference – with Kejriwal along with senior party leaders Manish Sisodia, Ashutosh, Ashish Talwar, Dilip Pandey, and Alka Lamba present. In an attempt to establish itself as a clear alternative to BJP, it focused primarily on the sanitation in the city – a rampant problem of the BJP regime. It said that the party aims to make Delhi a garbage-free city, with the promise to make the city free of vector-borne diseases in three years.

Kejriwal also posted a video and audio message, promising to clean up the national capital in one year if his AAP wins Sunday's municipal election.

On the other hand, Congress has focussed on youth, to help with both education and employment. The party has also promised to tackle poverty and infrastructure if it wins the popular mandate.

Delhi Congress chief Ajay Maken and former Union ministers Jairam Ramesh, Salman Khurshid and Sashi Tharoor were among those who campaigned for the party.

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