If not kingmakers, Independents will play a decisive role in the new municipal corporations. Reason: There has been a 65 % rise in the number of victorious independent candidates.
Fifteen Independents won in the 2007 elections. This year, the number has gone up to 24.
At 14, the highest number of independent candidates is from south Delhi; six candidates are from East Delhi Corporation and six are from North Delhi Corporation.
A total of 18 political parties had participated in the polls while 1,176 independent candidates were in the fray.
Some independents have won by a huge margin of more than 6,000 to 7,000 votes, considered huge for civic elections. For instance, in Vikas Nagar near Vikaspuri, Mahinder Yadav defeated the BJP by 6,267 votes.
Social workers, members of resident welfare associations, and professionals who do not have any political leanings — these independent candidates come from all walks of life.
“People want change from mainstream political parties and these independents are a good alternative. In the last MCD polls too, a number of winning independent candidates took civic decisions after consulting the residents,” said Kailash Katyal, member of Federation of RWA Mayur Vihar phase I. In South Delhi Corporation’s Roshanpura, an independent candidate defeated a BJP candidate by more than 1,800 votes.
Kalpana Jha, who contested from Sangam Vihar (central), won by 595 votes beating a Congress candidate. Another Independent from east Delhi’s Khichripur, Vinod Kumar Binny, won by 460 votes, beating Congress’s Sunder Singh.
A number of RWAs had also pitched for several independent candidates.
“Not just numbers, their vote bank has also gone up substantially. In civic polls, a margin of even 1,000 is considered good but many independents have won by 5,000 to 6,000 votes,” said Kalpana Singh, a resident of Sangam Vihar.
Many independent candidates had also chosen interesting election symbols to ensure people could identify with them.