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AAP ends 15-year BJP rule in MCD sweeping civic polls in Delhi

The Aam Aadmi Party won 134 of the 250 wards while the BJP, which had been ruling the civic body since 2007, bagged 104 seats. The Congress finished a poor third with nine seats while Independents bagged three wards.

Nikhil Vyas | New Delhi |

The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) stormed to power in the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD), ending the 15-year rule of the BJP in the powerful civic body of the National Capital.

According to official results, announced here on Wednesday after the counting of votes, the AAP won 134 of the 250 wards while the saffron party, which had been ruling the civic body since 2007, bagged 104 seats. The Congress finished a poor third with nine seats while Independents bagged three wards.

Addressing party workers and candidates after the AAP’s victory, a jubilant Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal thanked the people of Delhi for bringing a change and also sought Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s “blessings” for making the city better.

“I congratulate the people of Delhi for this win and thank them for bringing a change. We have fulfilled the responsibilities that the people of Delhi gave us. I am indebted to you for believing in me and giving me love. We all have to work together. I appeal to all the candidates and parties that politics was only till today, we all have to work for the betterment of Delhi,” Kejriwal said.

Earlier, the counting of votes cast in the 4 December polls was held amid tight security at 42 centres spread across the city. A total of 1,349 candidates were in the fray.

Celebrations started at the AAP office soon after the trends showed that the party was set to cross the halfway mark in the election. Party workers rejoiced the outcome, dancing on the streets and chanting slogans in praise of Kejriwal.

Exit polls telecast by different private TV channels on Monday evening had predicted a thumping victory for the AAP in the MCD polls and the party was projected to get 155 of the 250 wards.

The MCD polls held on Sunday witnessed a low turnout as compared to the 2017 polls with 50.48 per cent of the electorate exercising its franchisee, officials said. Voting in 2017 was 53 per cent. A total of 13,638 polling centres were set up for the polling on Sunday.

Earlier this year, the Central government unified the three corporations – East Delhi Municipal Corporation, South Delhi Municipal Corporation and North Delhi Municipal Corporation – into one MCD.

After a Union Home Ministry notification, the total number of MCD wards in Delhi was reduced to 250 from earlier 272. As many as 42 wards are in the reserved category.