The Aam Aadmi Party has claimed it will capture power in the three municipal corporations, repeating its performance in the 2015 assembly elections when the party swept the polls decimating the Congress and the BJP.
Welcoming the announcement of municipal election dates, AAP (Delhi) convenor Dilip Pandey said people will “wield the broom (AAP’s symbol) again and cleanse Delhi of the BJP and Congress “.
“Residents have seen how the BJP and Congress have converted Delhi into a garbage dump and the MCDs into a hub of corruption over the past two decades. The people of Delhi want to get rid of both these parties. AAP is full of confidence that in the upcoming elections, people will give a similar mandate as in the (Delhi) assembly elections,” Pandey told reporters.
This will be the first full-fledged civic elections of the Arvind Kejriwal-led party that won 67 seats in the 70-member Delhi assembly in February 2015. In the civic by-elections last year, AAP won five out of 13 seats that went to polls.
Though party leaders are claiming victory, the civic body polls will be test of popularity of the AAP that has been ruling Delhi for more than two years now.
The civic body elections come close on the heels of the Punjab assembly polls where the AAP, which ran a high-decibel campaign to wrest power in the state, stood a distant second. The Congress won with a thumping majority.
The Bharatiya Janata Party, which has been on an electoral surge in other states, is in power in the three corporations for a decade, while the Congress is the principal opposition.
The BJP wants to retain power by repeating its performance in the recent local body polls in Maharasthra and Orissa in the Capital. The Congress on the other hand looks at it as an opportunity to revive the party in the city polity after drawing a naught in the 2015 assembly elections.
The AAP has already declared candidates for 248 out of 272 municipal seats across the three corporations. The candidates have started door-to-door campaign and top leaders led by chief minister Arvind Kjeriwal are holding jansabhas (public meetings).