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After dethroning BJP in MCD, Kejriwal seeks PM’s blessings

The AAP has won 134 wards, out of a total of 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.

Nikhil Vyas | New Delhi |

After his party secured a comfortable majority in the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) polls, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, on Wednesday, thanked the people of the national capital for bringing a change and sought Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s blessings for making the city a better place to live.

According to official results, announced here on Wednesday after the counting of votes, the AAP won 134 of 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 decisive victory at the party headquarters here, the Chief Minister sought cooperation from the BJP and the Congress in working “together” for Delhi.

“I want cooperation from the BJP and the Congress. I expect their cooperation. I appeal to the Centre and ask for the Prime Minister’s blessings to make Delhi better. We have to make MCD corruption-free. Today, the people of Delhi have given a message to the entire nation,” said Kejriwal.

“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,” he said.

“We don’t believe in negative politics and don’t do the politics of abusing one another. We had asked the vote in the name of good governance, better education system and healthcare and for an honest government, and the people have blessed us with their support,” said the Delhi Chief Minister.

“We have bettered the Delhi government and now the people have given mandate to improve the MCD as well. We congratulate the people of Delhi for showing trust in us,” he said, adding that the existing system of ‘corruption and bribery’ in the MCD will have to end now. “We would need support from all of you irrespective of parties.”

“I want to congratulate all those councillors who have won the MCD election irrespective of parties as we all have to work together for Delhi. Those who couldn’t get victory should not be worried as we would take their support also to make Delhi a clean city,” Kejriwal said.

“Delhi had given us the responsibility to improve the schools, for the betterment of hospitals, to provide electricity for 24 hours, and we worked hard day and night to fulfill their expectations. Now through this mandate, people have given us the responsibility to make Delhi clean and corruption free, we thank the public of Delhi for entrusting such faith in us,” said Kejriwal.

Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia and Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann were also present on the occasion. Sisodia said that the mandate by the people of the national capital was to oust the BJP from power.

“The people of Delhi have not only given the mandate to make Kejriwal win, but also to oust the BJP from the MCD. It is not just a victory but a big responsibility to clean the city,” Sisodia.

“Heartfelt gratitude to the people of Delhi for trusting the Aam Aadmi Party in Delhi MCD polls. By defeating the world’s biggest and most negative party, the people of Delhi have given victory to staunch honest and working style of (Chief Minister) Arvind Kejriwal ji. For us it is not just a victory but a big responsibility,” he said.

“This is the responsibility to make the city clean, garbage-free and make it the best place to live in…,” Sisodia said.

He said that special thanks goes to the public of Delhi “who have ended the 15-year old misgovernance of corrupt BJP and have trusted the staunch honest Arvind Kejriwal government.”

“Delhi’s mandate is not only for Kejriwal’s victory, but it is also a mandate for the BJP’s defeat in the election. Those who claim to be the biggest party of the world and have been enjoying in the MCD for 15 years have been defeated by the work and honesty of AAP,” he said.

In a tweet, he said: “Honesty and work for the public has defeated the world’s biggest party which was ruling in MCD for 15 years. The people of Delhi have given us a big responsibility to make Delhi clean and beautiful under the leadership of @ArvindKejriwal ji. Let us all work together to make Delhi the best city in the country.”

Earlier, AAP leader and Rajya Sabha MP Raghav Chadha said: “The BJP has got the answer today that the people of Delhi vote for those who work, and not for the ones who defame. The BJP fielded its MPs, Ministers, CBI and ED, but the people of Delhi still voted for the AAP. The people have given a befitting reply to the BJP for the allegations that it levelled against Kejriwal. We will make Delhi the most beautiful city in the world.”

The counting of votes cast in the 4 December polls was held amid tight security at 42 centres spread across the city on Wednesday. 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 at 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 franchise, 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.