Congress' strategy to let its MPs and MLAs decide candidates for each municipal ward falling in their areas seems to have backfired.
While the party thought the MPs and MLAs would help select the best possible candidates with consensus, its debacle exposes the poor understanding the MPs and the MLAs have of their areas.
The party performed exceptionally bad in wards that fall under assembly constituencies represented by ministers in the Sheila Dikshit cabinet. Barring Gandhi Nagar, represented by education minister Arvinder Singh - where the party won three wards and lost the fourth by a margin of less than 1,000 votes - the Congress' dismal performance continued in areas represented by other ministers and senior party leaders.
It lost all four wards falling under the Laxmi Nagar constituency represented by Health Minister Ashok Kumar Walia.It also lost elections in all four wards under the Shahdara assembly constituency, represented by Trans Yamuna Development Board chairman Narendra Nath.
The party did not perform too well in areas represented by Delhi Industry Minister Ramakant Goswami, Power Minister Haroon Yusuf and Social Welfare Minister Kiran Walia. The Congress lost three of four wards in Ambedkar Nagar, Ballimaran and Hauz Khas represented by these three ministers, respectively.
In Mehrauli and Mongolpuri, the assembly constituencies of Delhi assembly speaker Yoganand Shastri and PWD minister Rajkumar Chauhan, the party won two municipal wards.
Party workers said there was a huge problem with election ticket distribution and they had even informed senior party leaders at the centre level about it.
"There was no consensus between the MPs and the MLAs. The MPs wanted to give tickets to their candidates while the MLAs were trying to push people who were close to them. In the tussle, committed and deserving party workers lost the battle," said a Congress worker.