A lot is riding for the Aam Aadmi Party for the upcoming MCD elections after their losses in Punjab and Goa. While the Congress did dismally in UP, they’d still be glad about their performance in other states in the Assembly polls while the BJP will hope to continue its dominant run. Both the AAP and the Congress have cornered the BJP over “civic mismanagement” in the city, even as the saffron party has blunted the attack, alleging that Kejriwal has “no interest” in the affairs of Delhi and he is only interested in “expanding his party’s footprint” beyond the national capital.
Now the survey results are out and it might not please Arvind Kejriwal or Ajay Maken. The ABP News-C Voter survey has revealed that the BJP is set to win all three wings of the MCD, which will be a huge blow to AAP and Congress. The survey claims that that 36% of the respondents were set to vote for BJP while the AAP would get 26% and the Congress would be third and get 17%. While the NDMC and SDMC have 104 wards each, EDMC has 64 wards.
“The AAP’s drubbing in the Rajouri Garden by-poll is a clear indication. We are going to put up an impressive show in the MCD polls as well,” The Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Youth Affairs and Sports told PTI.
The BJP has been ruling the MCD for the last 10 years. After the trifurcation of the MCD in 2012 into North, South and East Delhi Municipal Corporations (NDMC, SDMC and EDMC), the first election was held the same year, which was won by the saffron party. The BJP currently has 153 sitting councillors, but this time, it has not fielded any of them and instead, preferred all fresh faces.
Over 1.10 lakh people are eligible to exercise their franchise for the first time in the upcoming high-stakes municipal polls in Delhi. Elections to the three BJP-led corporations will be held on April 23 and the youth population is considered a crucial segment of the voters in the national capital.
“We are preparing for the polls as per the schedule. This would be the first civic poll after the latest delimitation which has redrawn the civic wards. For this election, there are 1,10,639 people who would be voting for the first time, out of which 24,825 are those who have recently turned 18. The rest are aged 19 or above,” Delhi State Election Commissioner SK Srivastava said.
As per the new delimitation exercise, based on 2011 Census, each ward now has an average of 60,000 people with an estimated 40,000 voters. The State Election Commission is running awareness campaigns, in print, and on radio and television to encourage people to exercise their franchise in this election for the 272 ward councillors.
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. “For the first time in MCD elections, None Of The Above (NOTA) option will be available. Also, the number of candidates in the wards range from a minimum of three to 21- 23, in some of them. Most of them have around 15 candidates.
One EVM can accommodate 16 candidates, for more than that, a second unit is attached,” he said. The BJP, which has been ruling the MCD for the last 10 years, has decided to field none of its 153 sitting councillors and contest the polls with only fresh faces.
While the BJP, fresh from its win in the Rajouri Garden bypoll, is seeking to retain its turf, the Congress, which finished second, is hoping for a resurgence. The AAP is aiming to replicate its 2015 Delhi Assembly performance but its humiliating defeat in the by-election may have hit the morale of the party led by Arvind Kejriwal, who has said, the results should not be seen as a “trailer of the MCD polls”.
The Generation-1 electronic voting machines (EVMs) are to be used for the MCD elections, which the Commission has described as “foolproof”. The total number of 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.