Cong drubbed in civic polls

NEW DELHI, Apr 17:
Capitalising on issues of corruption and price rise, BJP today trumped Congress to retain its hold in the Delhi municipal polls winning North and East Corporations and is set to capture South where it has emerged as the single-largest group.
The BJP victory came as a shock to Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit of the Congress who has been ruling the Capital for the last nearly 14 years uninterruptedly and trifurcated the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) in a bid to weaken the saffron party’s hold.
But the victory in the elections to the newly-created three municipal bodies was not as comprehensive in 2007 as BJP won only 138 out of 272 wards losing 26 seats from its earlier tally of 164 in 2007. Congress tally went up from 64 to 78 seats.
BJP captured North and East Corporations with a clear majority while it got 44, nine short of majority in the 104-member House in South Corporation. The party may hope to muster a majority with help from independents who have bagged 14 wards.
In North Delhi Corporation, BJP romped home with 59 seats in the 104-member strong body while Congress lagged behind at 29. BSP won seven seats while RLD four, LJP one and independents four.
At the end of counting of votes, South Delhi Corporation remained a hung house with BJP emerging victorious in 44 wards while Congress bagged 30 seats. BSP won five, NCP five, INLD three, JD(U) one, RLD one besides 14 independents.
But the real shocker for Congress came in its stronghold East Delhi Corporation where BJP came up with an impressive victory, winning 35 out of 64 wards. Congress was behind with 19 seats, INLD six, SP one and independents three.
Congress was quick to downplay the defeat saying MCD polls should only be seen as civic polls while BJP attributed its victory to a country-wide wave against Congress which failed to contain price rise and rampant corruption.
Rattled by the defeat, Congress leaders spoke in different voices. While Dikshit’s son and MP Sandeep Dikshit blamed it on price rise and scams like 2G, Union Minister Kapil Sibal neither national nor state issues had any impact on the results. (PTI)