The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) are locked in battle as votes for the 2022 Delhi MCD election are being counted. Exit polls gave chief minister Arvind Kejriwal’s AAP – which controls the city government – a clear win and relegated the BJP – which controls the city civic body – to a distant second. Pollsters had dismissed the Congress’ hopes.
However, as counting began for the day early trends indicated a far closer fight.
Indeed, leads swung wildly between the two parties and, as the first results were declared, the picture was no clearer. Who will win control of Delhi’s civic body?
Latest results for MCD election
At 11.56 am the Delhi State Election Commission said the AAP has won 82 seats and is leading in 54 others, while the BJP has won 62 and is ahead in 39.
The Congress has won four and is leading in five, while independent candidates and one from Asaduddin Owaisi’s AIMIM have won one and are leading in three.
The Delhi Municipal Corporation has 250 seats, or wards, after a (contentious) re-drawing of boundaries earlier this year removed 22 seats.
The majority mark is set at 126.
BJP and AAP both claim victory
For the AAP, MLA Saurabh Bharadwaj said the party will win 180 and maybe even 230+ seats. “We are going to get over 180. If voters favour us, we can also cross 230. Mayor will be from our party. I think exit polls are pointing to AAP.”
Delhi BJP leader Harish Khurana told news agency ANI: “We worked for the disposal of garbage (a key issue during campaigns) and it continued even during (the pandemic). That is why we’re confident the next Mayor will be from BJP.”
The AAP’s Aaley Mohammad Iqbal won the Chandi Mahal seat with the highest winning margin (recorded so far) – 17,134 votes.
Seema, also from the Aam Aadmi Party, has recorded the lowest margin of victory so far in this election – she won the Patparganj seat by just 24 votes.
Delhi witnessed a charged election campaign by the two leading parties, for whom top leaders – including union ministers and chief ministers of other states – went door-to-door to ask for votes and public support.
The BJP has governed the Delhi MCD since 2007 and the AAP has led the government since 2013. Historically the saffron party has enjoyed success in Delhi civic polls – even when beaten in the Assembly election.
This is the first election after wards were re-drawn and municipal corporations merged; there were 272 and three – the New Delhi, South Delhi and East Delhi bodies – from 2012 that were reduced to 250 and re-unified into one in May.
With input from PTI