The Aam Aadmi Party on Wednesday swept the municipal bypolls in Delhi winning four of the five seats while the Congress bagged one and the Bharatiya Janata Party drew a blank, prompting AAP chief and Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal to assert that the victory is an indication of the expected outcome of the Municipal Corporation of Delhi elections next year.
The ruling party of Delhi retained three wards--Rohini-C, Trilokpuri and Kalyanpuri--and also snatched the Shalimar Bagh ward from the BJP.
The AAP, however, lost the Chauhan Bangar ward to Congress candidate Chaudhary Zubair Ahmad who bagged the seat by the biggest margin of 10,642 votes.
Although the Congress managed to get one seat, the party claimed that Delhiites are now looking towards it to give the
'Knockout punch' in the MCD elections due in 2022.
The BJP, which has been ruling the civic bodies in the national capital for 15 years, alleged that the results clearly show that the Congress and AAP had teamed up with each other, and accused the rival parties of 'match fixing' to defeat the saffron party.
The five seats fell vacant after AAP's councillors had contested the assembly elections and won while the BJP's Shalimar Bagh councillor had died.
The Rohini C ward was won by the Bahujan Samaj Party in 2017 but the sitting councillor contested the 2020 assembly polls here on AAP ticket.
Kejriwal, who addressed AAP's workers at the party office, took a dig at the BJP for losing the five seats including the one it was holding, saying it was an indication of the expected outcome of the civic body polls next year.
"The zero obtained by BJP showed people rejected corruption and theft at MCD ruled by it and the politics of violence they practiced by vandalism at Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia's residence and DJB office," he said.
"The results are an indication of what kind of outcome is expected next year in civic body polls. We are waiting for it and would make the city neat and clean," Kejriwal said.
AAP candidate Dhirender Kumar won the Kalyanpuri ward by 7,043 votes. The party candidate Vijay Kumar from Trilokpuri defeated BJP's Om Prakash by a margin of 4,986 votes.
AAP's Sunita Mishra defeated Surbhi Jaju of the BJP in Shalimar Bagh ward by 2,705 votes. The seat was earlier held by the BJP.
Ram Chander of the AAP defeated BJP candidate Rakesh Goyal by 2,985 votes in Rohini C ward.
Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia in a tweet congratulated the party workers for the victory and said people were fed up with the BJP and would bring in Kejriwal's politics of honesty and work, in the MCD polls next year.
The All India Congress Committee in-charge of Delhi Congress Shaktisinh Gohil said party candidate Chaudhary Zubair Ahmad's record victory reflected affection of people and hard work by its candidates.
Ahmad's victory margin was the highest in the bypolls for the five wards.
The MCD by-election results to the five wards 'strongly' pit Congress for the 'final battle' in the MCD general elections in 2022, Delhi Congress president Anil Kumar told a press conference.
Kumar said in a tweet that victory of Congress in Chauhan Bangar showed that confidence of people in the Congress was rising and it was a message of 'revival' of the party.
"Delhiites want Congress back in power, and the by-election results also signalled their emphatic response against the corruption and misrule of the BJP at municipal corporations and the Kejriwal government which has been driving Delhi to ruin," he claimed.
In a statement, Delhi BJP president Adesh Gupta alleged that the results 'clearly' show that the Congress and AAP had 'teamed up' to defeat the BJP.
"The decrease in vote share of Congress in Shalimar Bagh and its increase in Chauhan Bangar ward is proof enough that the Congress and AAP conspired against BJP," Gupta alleged.
More than 50 per cent votes were cast in the bypolls for the five civic wards under two municipal bodies on February 28. The three civic bodies in Delhi are the North Delhi Municipal Corporation (NDMC), South Delhi Municipal Corporation(SDMC) and the East Delhi Municipal Corporation (EDMC).