New Delhi: The question of Kejriwal’s ability to win elections have arisen after his party’s defeat in the assembly election in Goa and Punjab last month.
The BJP has won Delhi’s three municipal corporations for a third consecutive term on Wednesday. Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s popularity, as well as a decision to drop almost all its sitting councillors, helped the BJP strengthen its grip over the three civic bodies.
The setback was the worst for Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal. However, the combined vote share of the AAP (26.21%) and Congress (21.09%) was more than that of the BJP’s (36.16%).
“Modi charisma helped the BJP to beat anti-incumbency. The triangular contest proved crucial in the victory margin… In a triangular contest, any party that gets over 36% emerges victorious,” said Sanjay Kumar of the Centre for the Study of Developing Societies.
Kejriwal congratulated the BJP for the victory, later in the day. “My govt looks forward to working (with) MCDs for the betterment of Delhi,” he tweeted.
The AAP’s humiliating defeat plunged the party into a crisis even as its top leadership put up a brave front suggesting the verdict was the result of tampering with Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs).
“EVM tampering is the bitter truth of the country’s democracy. One can crack jokes on us initially, but fearing being made fun of, we cannot refrain from speaking the truth,” Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia told reporters.
However, minister Kapil Mishra, said, “It was a reality that people didn’t vote for AAP and all blame can’t be pinned on the EVMs”.
Union Minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi claimed BJP’s impressive show in the MCD polls was a lesson for those crying foul over EVMs.
-with HT inputs