Riding on a Narendra Modi wave, the Bharatiya Janata Party was on Wednesday headed for a clean sweep of the Delhi civic polls and was set to retain the three municipal corporations for the third term in a row, as predicted in exit polls. Following this, Modi tweeted his thanks to the people of Delhi, even as the party stayed away from celebrations after its cleen sweep in the MCD elections. The AAP, however, alleged widespread tampering of EVMs in favour of the BJP.
The BJP has bagged 179 wards and is poised to win six more. The Aam Aadmi Party has won 43 seats and Congress is trailing behind in the third position with 28 seats. The poll win is the latest in a series of BJP election victories credited largely to Modi.
The AAP has however rejected the verdict claiming that the electronic voting machines were rigged to favour BJP, without which the saffron party's massive win is inexplainable.
The AAP's defeat comes more than two years after the Delhi Assembly elections when the fledgling political outfit humiliated the BJP winning 67 of the 70 Delhi assembly polls when it got a huge 54 percent of the votes. The BJP won three seats that year but registered 33 per cent of the vote share.
Speaking to the reporters, Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia said, "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." Rejecting the idea of a Modi wave that many are saying influenced the civic body polls, Sisodiya said that an "EVM wave" is sweeping the country.
"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," another AAP minister Gopal Rai told reporters.
Senior advisor 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."
The Congress camp, which came a distant third, was also melancholic and AAP's EVM allegations didn't find much resonance there.
Former Delhi chief minister and senior Congress leader Sheila Dikshit blamed the party's debacle on the "lack of involvement of the local leadership."
"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.
Congress Delhi unit chief Ajay Maken offered to resign from his post taking responsibility for the defeat. He, however, tried to maintain his optimism. Referring to the party's abysmal performance in the state Assembly polls, he said "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."
Meanwhile, a victorious BJP dedicated its impending win to the slain CRPF personnel in Chhattisgarh's Sukma district and decided to refrain from any celebrations. The party, however, took on Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and his party for raising 'baseless allegations' on the EVM issue.
Delhi BJP chief Manoj Tiwari, credited for the party's win, said the AAP's defeat reflected how the party had "failed the people of Delhi". He sought the resignation of Kejriwal and promised that the new elected civic body would "clean the city in four months".
"We will make Delhi a clean city in the next four months. It will be a hygienic, dirt and disease free city," Tiwari said.
With inputs from PTI
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Updated Date: Apr 26, 2017 15:31:03 IST