The Aam Aadmi Party went into a huddle at Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s home this morning after the Delhi civic body poll results were not quite lining up with its expectations in early trends. His deputy, Manish Sisodia, and senior leader Raghav Chadha were there for the meeting, as the AAP and BJP switched places constantly — meaning the BJP may not be as easy to unseat as the AAP claimed.
Balloons and celebratory posters, however, were ready at the AAP office in Delhi amid swinging trends as counting progressed.
At 9.15 am, the BJP had even crossed the halfway mark after early leads for all 250 seats came in. But by 9.30, it came down and the AAP crossed the halfway mark; and then the BJP made a comeback half an hour on — a wildly swinging race.
Posters at the AAP head office in Delhi showed Arvind Kejriwal smiling, his hands folded in gratitude, and a Hindi slogan on it saying: “Kejriwal in the MCD too”.
While the AAP has swept the past two Delhi assembly polls, it is the BJP which has ruled the MCD for 15 years, thus controlling many of the daily services such as garbage-collection and street-paving.
The AAP wants to change it this time, pitching Arvind Kejriwal’s face and the idea that having the same party in power at both civic levels in the national capital will mean efficiency.
The AAP was confident of winning “more than 200” of the 250 wards, and exit polls mostly kept it at 150 — a big win either way.
The AAP has claimed that it has won public trust through its work in Delhi and this would see them through. The BJP, it has said, has not been able to meet a basic parameter like cleaning up the city in 15 years.
The BJP, as is its norm, banked on a glitzy campaign, roping in Union ministers and state Chief Ministers and the governance of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. It targeted the anti-corruption image that AAP has been building since its inception with a series of sting videos.
Insisting that he does not need to respond, Arvind Kejriwal said, “MCD elections are becoming quite clear, it’s BJP’s 10 videos versus Kejriwal’s 10 guarantees. Let’s wait till December 4, people of Delhi will give a reply to all those videos”.
Mr Kejriwal had announced “10 guarantees” ahead of the civic elections – which included cleaning up the city, including landfills and ending corruption in the civic body. AAP’s trade wing announced ’10 guarantees’ that included de-sealing of shops and resolving conversion and parking charges.