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MCD elections 2022: How a BJP loss could alter Delhi’s power dynamics

MCD elections 2022: Experts suggest that while a high polling percentage has hinted at anti-incumbency sentiments on several occasions, regimes have changed following low voter turnout as well.

MCD elections 2022: How a BJP loss could alter Delhi’s power dynamics
The BJP, facing anti-incumbency, the dismal polling in high-end wards could spell trouble for the saffron party as voters have been pro-BJP in these areas. (Image: IE)

MCD elections 2022: The fiercely contested Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) elections for 250 wards ended with 50 percent voter turnout, three percent less than the previous election. The importance of the Delhi civic election can be gauged from the campaign that saw the who’s who of national politics descend into the narrow bylanes of the capital.   

The verdict is still out on the impact the low turnout would have on the political stakeholders. Experts suggest that while a high polling percentage has hinted at anti-incumbency sentiments on several occasions, regimes have changed following low voter turnout as well.        

Yet, the low voter turnout coupled when seen in the context of the three-cornered battle that Delhi witnessed during the MCD elections, the margin of victory for a candidate could be thinner than what many would assume. In such neck-and-neck contests, poll results could belie any prediction.

While all major political parties campaigned rigorously, the BJP versus AAP battle will be the most closely watched when the MCD election results are declared on December 7.     

Also Read | MCD Elections 2022: Tracing the role and journey of Delhi’s civic body

For the BJP, facing anti-incumbency, the dismal polling in high-end wards could spell trouble for the saffron party as voters have been pro-BJP in these areas.     

Delhi has got its unique power structure that makes MCD an election behemoth for political orientation of both the BJP and AAP. Delhi is a city and Union Territory where the BJP-ruled Centre plays key administrative roles. The AAP-ruled Delhi government has limited authority because of this power structure. The work area in Delhi is divided into three parts that are governed by Centre, state government and Municipal body .

A loss in the MCD elections would come as a major setback to the saffron party. The BJP controls significant parts of governance that includes law and order, land, and bureaucracy in the national capital. Losing MCD means BJP could be deprived of civic ruling getting restricted to only one part of Delhi’s administration which could control the Delhi government on law and order, land, and bureaucracy through the Lieutenant Governor of Delhi, who is representative of the ruling establishment at Centre in Delhi.

Also Read |  Favourites among all political parties, Purvanchalis can sway one third of 250 wards

Additionally, it could pave the way for the AAP to rule the entire corporation along with the Delhi government, which will enable the decade-old party to control half of Delhi’s power. Currently, the Kejriwal-led AAP controls only a third of Delhi’s power. 

During the campaigns, BJP marshaled all its resources to woo voters. BJP top guns including party president JP Nadda, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and Cabinet ministers, held roadshows in the national capitals. 

Despiste such a high-voltage electioneering, if results do not go BJP’s way, it could also jolt to the BJP’s mission ahead of Lok Sabha elections. 

An AAP win, on the other hand, will come as a stamp of approval on the “corruption” tag that it has sought to attach to the BJP. The ruling party at the Centre could then lose ground on cornering the Arvind Kejriwal-led AAP which has projected itself as an alternative to the saffron party on the national front. 

All eyes are on December 7 when counting of MCD votes will start. In the previous MCD elections of 2017, out of 275 overall wards, the BJP had bagged 181, AAP 49, and Congress 31.

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First published on: 05-12-2022 at 05:26:35 pm