MCD election reuslts 2022: Aam Aadmi Party’s campaign song ‘Acche Honge 5 Saal, MCD Mein Bhi Kejriwal’ translated into reality as party emerged as the winner in the Municipal Corporation of Delhi Elections 2022. The counting of votes ended with AAP bagging 134 of 250 wards while the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) settled at 104. Continuing its abysmal performance, the Congress stood at distant third with 9 wards.
The AAP’s victory at the MCD, a fortress BJP has held since 2007, dents the saffron party’s control not just on the civic body, but the capital as well. Significantly, the MCD results mean that the BJP’s efforts to regain power in the national capital will have to continue for a little longer. Deprived of power since 1998, when Sushma Swaraj was at the helm as the chief minister, the BJP has struggled to return to power in the Delhi assembly.
The MCD elections have always taken a national dimension. It is often said in political galleries that if Delhi sneezes, the rest of India catches a cold. Will MCD poll results upset BJP’s plans for 2024? It may be too early to read but the BJP top brass, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi, got into a huddle barely a day before the results were announced to chalk out a strategy for the assembly elections to be held next year and the Lok Sabha polls in 2024.
Even if AAP fails to make an impact in the Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh elections, the MCD win has catapulted Arvind Kejriwal on the national arena. With a projected voter share of over 20 percent in Gujarat, as per exit polls, the recent formation of government in Punjab and the ‘Delhi model’ of governance that the AAP has successfully marketed, the MCD verdict has given Kejriwal the boost he needed to emerge as a possible face of the Opposition vis-a-vis the Lok Sabha polls.
Can AAP emerge as an alternative to the BJP? Successful or not, the Kejriwal-led party has always been seen wrestling for power against the BJP. Be it in the MCD, the Delhi Assembly or in state elections such as in Gujarat, Himachal Pradesh or Goa. Though defeated, Kejriwal dared to contest election against PM Modi in Varanasi in 2014.
With an image of a party which isn’t afraid to take on the ‘mighty’ BJP, the AAP’s MCD win will come as a validation of Kejriwal’s claims of being targetted by the BJP due to its rising popularity. Cornering AAP may no longer be as easy as it has been for the saffron party.
On the contrary, the MCD win will bolster Kejriwal’s image of a “Kattar Imaandaar” politician and act as a boost to his national ambitions. Kejriwal’s AAP now has emerged as the only party which can dare to face the BJP head-on, and defeat it. While the path to becoming a national alternative may be long, AAP is certainly on the right track.
Mudslinging during the campaigns took precedence over the basic civic needs for which MCD is designated. Nevertheless Delhi minister Satyendar Jain viral videos, ED raid on Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia’s house, news of “killing” Kejriwal caught headlines, Kejriwal fended off all odds by saying “Shaandaar” work as Chief Minister won’t get defeated by “bogus charges” and “misuse of central agencies”.