Celebrations filled the Delhi headquarters of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) as the debutant bagged five of the 13 seats in the Delhi municipal by-polls on Tuesday. The Congress, which did not hold any ward and desperately needed a fillip, managed to bag four seats.
The BJP, which was in power in all three municipal corporations in Delhi, had to settle for three seats. In the 2012 municipal elections, the party had won seven of the 13 wards.
Final seat tally
Wards 13 seats
Names of MCD wards Winning party
Quamruddin Nagar Congress
Shalimar Bagh (North) BJP
Vikas Nagar AAP
“MCD ruled by BJP-Cong. Outsider AAP wins max seats in byelection. Thnx Delhi for reaffirming faith. Ab MCD election mein sabhi seat jeetni (sic),” Kejriwal tweeted.
AAP registered wins in Vikas Nagar, Matiala, Nanakpura, Ballimaran and Tekhand, and the Congress won over Jhilmil, Khichripur, Qamaruddin Nagar and Munirka. A total of 45.9% voter turnout was registered, with Bharti ward recording the highest.
The by-polls were mandated after councillors were elected to the Delhi assembly in the 2013 and 2015 assembly polls.
With the municipal elections to the three corporations scheduled to be held in April next year, the by-polls are being seen as a semi-final to the main battle.
AAP’s Delhi secretary Dilip Pandey called the results a launchpad for the party.
The Delhi high court on January 29 directed the Delhi poll panel to conduct the by-polls for all 13 vacant seats within three months. The court decision came after a resident of one of the wards filed a PIL in the matter, claiming development had been stalled and areas were suffering due to lack of basic amenities.
While nine wards have remained unrepresented since December 2013, the rest have been lying vacant since February 2015. Nine of these 13 councillors are now AAP legislators. The other four became legislators on a BJP ticket in 2013, but lost in 2015.
Buoyed by its sweeping victory in the assembly polls last year, AAP began preparing for its grand debut in civic polls scheduled for 2017. The by-poll results give them a headstart.