Kejriwal seeks PM Modi’s blessings after AAP victory in Delhi civic polls
Addressing party workers, Kejriwal said the people had given the AAP a major responsibility to clean the Capital and check corruption by electing it to the MCD--a first for the party which has been ruling Delhi since 2015
Delhi chief minister and Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) supremo Arvind Kejriwal sought Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s blessings after the party won the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) elections, unseating the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) with a thin margin on Wednesday. The AAP won 134 of the 250 wards --- only eight seats more than the magic number of 126 required to control the MCD, one of the largest civic bodies in the world with around 150,000 employees and an annual budget of ₹15,200 crore.
Also Read| MCD election news: 'BJP covered Delhi in garbage, AAP will clean', says Chadha
Addressing party workers, Kejriwal said the people had given the AAP a major responsibility to clean the Capital and check corruption by electing it to the MCD--a first for the party which has been ruling Delhi since 2015--and removing the BJP which was running the civic body for the last 15 years.
Kejriwal also sought the blessings of PM Modi and the central government. “The politics was limited to today. Now we have to fix Delhi together (cleaning, checking corruption, etc). I want the help of the BJP, Congress and everyone. Together we will fix Delhi. All 250 councillors will have to join hands. The help of those who could not win is also required,” said Kejriwal.
According to the final results announced by the State Election Commission (SEC), the AAP won 134, the BJP won 104, the Congress won nine and independent candidates won three wards. While the AAP has enough numbers to form the government in the MCD, the party will not find it easy to have its mayors, standing council chairman and other chiefs of deliberative wings elected, since anti-defection laws--which seek to provide a stable government by ensuring the legislators do not switch sides--do not apply to urban local bodies.
Also Read| AAP wins 134 seats in MCD election, secures big win and ends BJP's 15-year reign
Expecting a clean sweep as predicted by multiple exit polls, the AAP decked up its headquarters on Wednesday and readied the roof for its top leaders to gather and address party workers. A large number of party workers gathered in the afternoon when the party was neck-and-neck with the BJP, and celebrations broke out only when the AAP crossed the halfway mark. Around 2.30pm, CM Kejriwal reached the party headquarters to join in.
The AAP chief said the AAP-run administration in the MCD will work without bias. “We will get the work of those who did not vote for us also done. Everyone will have to get involved in cleaning Delhi and checking corruption. We will check corruption in the MCD the way we checked corruption in the Delhi government,” said Kejriwal.
The election results follow an aggressive campaign by both AAP and BJP, dominated by allegations and counter-allegations that flew thick and fast for around a month. Ahead of the MCD polls, Kejriwal had promised to make Delhi clean and beautiful, end corruption, fix parking issues, address the problem of stray cattle, repair roads, and revamp schools under the MCD as part of his 10 guarantees. He also pledged to beautify MCD parks, regularise temporary workers, pay timely salaries, simplify licensing, and create a conducive atmosphere for trade and vending zones.
Kejriwal stressed that the AAP based its campaign on a positive note. “We should not do negative politics even though we are instigated. If we do not work on roads, electricity, education and hospitals, we cannot win an election. We have won our fourth election in Delhi. We campaigned on a positive note. We do not indulge in an abusive campaign. Hooliganism will not help the country march forward,” Kejriwal said, asking party workers not to let the victory go to their heads.
Meanwhile, Punjab CM Bhagwant Mann, who was also present at the party headquarters, said that the people of Delhi have won after 15 years. “The AAP does not just make promises but gives guarantees,” said Mann.
Deputy CM Manish Sisodia also said the people had dethroned a corrupt BJP government and replaced it with an honest party. “The BJP calls itself the world’s largest party. The victory (for AAP) is a big responsibility to make Delhi clean and beautiful and has been possible due to the vision and leadership of CM Arvind Kejriwal,” said Sisodia.