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Poll dynamics change, parties anxious before Delhi MCD elections

Rearrangement of 272 wards across three municipal corporations has made the upcoming Delhi MCD polls unpredictable, though many feel that it may give an advantage to the ruling AAP which will be contesting a civic body poll for the first time

delhi Updated: Jan 18, 2017 13:29 IST
Vishal Kant
Vishal Kant
Hindustan Times
MCD polls,Delhi MCD elections,Wards redrawn
The delimitation of municipal wards has revised the number of municipal wards in 37 out of 70 assembly segments. (HT FILE)

Excitement and anxiety were two words that captured the emotions of Delhi’s political circle perfectly on Tuesday after the notification of municipal wards was announced on Tuesday.

The common assessment across the political spectrum, however, was that the delimitation of municipal wards — which revised the number of municipal wards in 37 out of 70 assembly segments — had made the upcoming municipal elections in Delhi unpredictable by altering the traditional strongholds of different parties.

“For the first time, the city would have witnessed a triangular fight in municipal elections. The delimitation of wards, which has altered the geographical boundaries, has only added to uncertainties regarding outcomes,” a senior BJP leader said.

Read I Post delimitation, battle lines drawn ahead of civic polls

The delimitation will lead to critical changes in the demography and character of the seats. Population being the fundamental criterion of redistribution, most of the assembly seats that had larger concentration of unauthorised colonies and slum clusters now have more municipal wards under its fold.

The number of municipal wards in assembly seats like Burari, Kirari, Bawana, Vikaspuri, Matiala have gone up from four to six or more. It could be an advantage AAP, party leaders said.

“The population density is higher in unauthorised colonies, slum clusters and villages — where the core support base of AAP lies. Though the party swept Delhi in 2015 assembly polls, the catch lies in the victory margins. Victory margin in seats like Burari, Kirari, Deoli and Matiala was much higher as compared to urban seats like Greater Kailash, Malviya Nagar and Kasturba Nagar,” a senior AAP leader said.

The BJP has traditionally been strong in the urban pockets. The Congress enjoyed mass support in areas dwelled by low-income groups, unauthorised colonies and slum clusters, until the emergence of AAP on the political horizon.

Congress leaders argued that support for AAP had waned and the party stood a fighting chance in the next polls.

“We won four of 13 seats. One more seat, Bhati, was won by a Congress rebel. Five of these four seats —Jhilmil, Kondli, Bhati and Nangloi — are dominated by unauthorised colonies,” a senior Congress leader said.

A section in the BJP is ‘anxious’ about the fallout of the change in demography on the electorate in some wards. “Hauz Rani, which is dominated by the minority community, was a separate ward. Now it has been merged with Malviya Nagar. That will impact the poll dynamics,” a senior BJP leader said.

First Published: Jan 18, 2017 13:29 IST