The BJP today said it was expecting a “landslide” victory in the MCD polls while the Congress adopted a cautious approach as it predicted a “close” fight with the ruling party in the three civic bodies of the national capital. A total of 58.58 per cent votes were polled in the elections to 270 wards of the three municipal corporations (MCDs) yesterday. The voting in two wards were cancelled due to death of the candidates. Bouyed by the exit polls results, aired by two news channels, forecasting the victory of BJP in around 220 wards, Delhi BJP president Manoj Tiwari said he has witnessed unparallelled support of people during his campaigns in nearly 250 wards in South, North and East Delhi Municipal Corporation areas.
“I never saw such a public support to a party in my whole life, specially from the people living in unauthorised colonies, slums and villages in the city. We are expecting a landslide victory,” he said. Trashing the exit poll results that predicted a win in around 31 wards, Congress leaders said, the results will reveal a “close” fight with the BJP while the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), the third main contender in the elections would remain a “distant” third. “We do not give any importance to exit poll results. Wait for the counting of votes and actual results and you will witness a close fight between the Congress and the BJP while the AAP will be a distant third,” a senior Delhi Congress leader, Chatar Singh said.
The Congress had predicted winning at least 208 wards in the MCD polls during the campaigning. The AAP that enjoyed an unprecedented mandate in 2015 Assembly elections winning 67 out of 70 constituencies in Delhi, seemed shocked by the exit polls and claimed that the MCD poll results could be “rigged”. “If this is what the exit polls say, it is clear that the EVMs have been tampered with and these fake exit polls are being done to prepare a ground for the rigged results,” AAP Delhi convener Dilip Pandey claimed.
The party citing an internal survey had claimed to win 218 wards, during campaigning for the MCD polls. According to the India Today-Axis exit poll, the BJP may bag anything between 202 and 220 seats, while the AAP and the Congress will score something around 23-35 and 19-31 respectively. The CVoter-ABP exit poll claimed the BJP was likely to sweep Delhi with 218 seats, limiting the AAP and the Congress to 24 and 22 seats respectively.