Municipal councillors in the BJP-led corporations suffered a rude shock today after AAP juggernaut steamrolled the saffron party though they had fought the Delhi elections on the plank of civic issues.
At least 10 councillors, including a current mayor and three former mayors, tested their fortune in what was billed to be a keenly-fought contest between the spirited BJP and a resurgent AAP, but polling results proved otherwise.
While the AAP’s broom swept a massive mandate of 67 seats, BJP, which was seeking to recapture power in the national capital after a gap of 16 years, totalled an abysmal three in the 70-member House.
While eight of the BJP councillors finished second, three Congress corporators had to content with the third or fourth position.
North Delhi Mayor Yogender Chandolia, who was fighting from Karol Bagh, was confident of pulling off a victory, but AAP’s Vishesh Ravi trounced him, with a huge margin of over 30,000 votes.
While Ravi received 67,429 votes, Chandolia got 34,549 votes and Congress’ Madan Khorwal finished third with mere 9,144 votes.
Former North Delhi Mayor Azad Singh, who had contested Mundka seat in 2013 polls, faced defeat again, finishing second with 53,380 seats, behind AAP’s Sukhvir Singh, who got 94,206 votes.
NDMC’s Standing Committee Deputy Chairman Rekha Gupta lost from Shalimar Bagh, receiving 51,678 votes against Bandana Kumari of AAP, who amassed a staggering 62,656.
Former Delhi Mayor Rajni Abbi, who was the last mayor of the erstwhile unified municipal corporation of Delhi, too couldn’t bank on her municipal experience and lost to Pankaj Pushkar of AAP.
While Pushkar got 64,477 votes, Abbi got 43,830.
Congress councillor and Leader of Opposition in NDMC Mukesh Goel was placed third, while the top slot was occupied by AAP’s Pawan Kumar Sharma. BJP’s Ram Kishan Singhal, the sitting MLA, finished second.
Former South Delhi Mayor Sarita Chaudhary, who had exuded confidence during her campaign days too was swept away by the massive mandate handed by people to AAP.
“We are doing door-to-door canvassing and reaching out to both men and women. Being a councillor, a former mayor, a woman mayor no less, certainly will tilt the balance in her favour,” a member from Sarita’s core campaign team had said, a few days ahead of the polling.
Sarita was up against Congress’ Satbir Singh and AAP’s Naresh Yadav, but despite apparently having a headstart, the race was won by AAP.
While Yadav polled 58,125 votes, Chaudhary got 41,174.
Another BJP councillor, Prabhu Dayal pitted against four-time legislator and sitting MLA Jai Kishan of Congress and AAP’s Sandeep Kumar in reserved seat of Sultanpur Majra, ended up second spot behind Sandeep, who amassed 80,269 followed by Dayal’s total of 15,830.
From East Delhi Municipal Corporation, BJP had fielded EDMC’s Standing Committee Chairman B B Tyagi from Laxmi Nagar, who lost to AAP’s Nitin Tyagi by over 4,000 votes.
BJP in the last mayoral polls had swept all three top posts and its senior party members in the three corporations before the polls, had expressed confidence of continuing the dominance in the Assembly polls too.
Congress’ Zakhir Khan had to content with the third position at Babarpur behind AAP’s Gopal Rai with 75,928 votes and BJP’s Naresh Gaur with 40,440 votes.
Congress councillor Kumari Rinku finished fourth from Gokalpur. The seat was one by AAP’s Fateh Singh with 71,240 votes. BJP and BSP ranked second and third respectively.