Bypolls in 5 MCD wards today
Municipal bypolls will be held in five wards on Sunday, two of which fall under the North Delhi Municipal Corporation and three under the East Delhi Municipal Corporation.
Polling will start at 7.30am and end at 5.30pm, and the results will be declared on March 3.
The Aam Aadmi Party won four of these five wards in the 2017 MCD elections, which saw the Bharatiya Janata Party retain all the three civic bodies in the city. The BJP has ruled all three MCDs in Delhi for nearly 15 years now.
The Congress, which was pushed to a distant third in the 2017 MCD elections with just 30 seats, is looking to improve its performance and make the polls a triangular battle, instead of a straight contest between the AAP and BJP.
Sunday’s bypolls will be held in wards 32N, (Rohini-C) and 62N, (Shalimar Bagh North) in north Delhi and wards 02-E (Trilokpuri), 08E (Kalyanpuri) and 41E (Chauhan Bangar) in east Delhi.
Four of the five wards that go to bypolls fell vacant after their incumbent councillors were elected AAP MLAs in the assembly polls in February last year. The bypoll in Shalimar Bagh, meanwhile, was necessitated after the death of councillor Renu Jaju, who won the seat on a BJP ticket in 2017.
The AAP, which has fielded two former MLAs for Sunday’s bypolls saw its party supremo and Delhi chief minister Kejriwal campaign for five candidates, as did other cabinet ministers, including deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia.
Calling the bypolls a “semi-final” to end the BJP’s 15-year control of the civic bodies, state labour minister and AAP’s Delhi unit convener Gopal Rai said Saturday’s election will “write Delhi’s future for the next five years.”
“The BJP spread politics of hate during the Delhi assembly elections, but people again voted for an AAP government under chief minister Kejriwal. The AAP will defeat BJP in the MCD by-election just the way it did in the assembly elections. This election is not about the Congress, but about defeating the BJP. The Congress will not do any good to the citizens of Delhi, but only split the vote,” Rai said.
The BJP has been holding roadshows and meetings at the booth level, and has tasked each party worker with getting support from at least 21 houses, as part of their campaign.
Delhi BJP chief Adesh Gupta said the BJP will win all five wards, claiming that the people of Delhi believe in Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s motto of “sabka saath, sabka vikas aur sabka vishwas”.
“The Kejriwal government has not fulfilled any of its poll promises and is neglecting development work, which is what people want. The AAP has pushed Delhi towards anarchy as Kejriwal is now supporting those very elements who insulted the national flag and created chaos in the city on Republic Day as part of the farmers’ agitation,” he said.
Meanwhile, the Congress, in its campaigns said the Capital was blighted by “multiplicity of authority”, and criticised the BJP and the AAP for not doing anything other than “bickering”, alleging that this has led to a governance paralysis in the city.
Shaktisinh Gohil, Delhi Congress in-charge, said people are tired of the misrule and shadow boxing of the BJP and the AAP governments.
“Governments of both the parties at the Centre and in Delhi have been self-obsessed without doing any work. In the past few years, they only made charges and counter charges against each other, about fund misuse, stalled developments and corruption. But, none filed FIRs despite they levelling charges of corruption on each other,” said Gohil.