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Delhi votes BJP back to power in civic polls (Fourth lead)

Delhi,Politics, Tue, 17 Apr 2012 IANS

New Delhi, April 17 (IANS) A triumphant Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Tuesday retained control over Delhi's civic administration, with the results of elections to the trifurcated Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) coming as a shot in the arm for the party ahead of the 2013 Delhi assembly polls.


The party won 118 seats of the 228 declared filled till 5 p.m. in the total 272 wards of the MCD.


The issue of corruption and price rise played hard on the minds of voters who let local issues take a backseat, said BJP leaders as the results started pouring in.


Till 5 p.m., the Congress managed to win 67 seats of the 228 declared seats.


Of the smaller parties, the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) bagged 13 seats, Nationalist Congress Party and Samajwadi Party secured two seats each, while Independents bagged 20 seats.


With 97 percent of the national capital under the MCD, people have pinned hopes on the three new civic bodies to deliver a hassle-free and efficient functioning of the civic infrastructure and public amenities. The remaining three percent is under the New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC) and the Delhi Cantonment Board.


There are now 104 wards each in the south and north corporations and 64 in the east. Of the 272 seats, 138 are reserved for women - a move towards larger stake for women in the city's local body.


Bagging a victory in the country's largest civic agency in terms of geographical area has also given a major boost to the BJP, party leaders said.


"This will give direction to other polls. The inclination of the public has been towards BJP, whether it is Punjab, Goa, Mumbai civic polls or now Delhi civic polls," said BJP chief Nitin Gadkari as the results poured in.


For the Congress-led Delhi government, the loss meant a time to reflect on the strategy for the 2013 assembly polls.


"People are tired of corruption and price hike. This result would see a repeat in the state elections as well as Lok Sabha polls. Trifurcation has fallen flat on Congress's face," said V.K. Malhotra, BJP leader of opposition in the Delhi assembly.


Agreed Sandeep Dikshit, Congress MP and son of Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit.


"The people have voted on national issues like corruption and inflation," he said.


As most of the Congress leaders refrained from speaking on the party's debacle, party spokesperson Rashid Alvi said: "It is the decision of the people that matters."


While Mumbai's municipality is the richest in the country, Delhi's municipality is known for its outreach of services to over 97 percent of the capital that is home to urban middle-class in posh areas as well as migrants from all across the country.


Interestingly, the new set-up will see major changes as people living in west Delhi will come under the South zone civic agency.


The results of the MCD polls come as a big jolt to the Sheila Dikshit government that won the last three consecutive assembly polls.


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