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Explained: Why BJP remains undefeated in MCD polls for 15 years?

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New Delhi, Nov 21: The countdown for the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) elections has started with all the three leading parties - ruling BJP, AAP and Congress - hitting the campaign trail. The elections will be held on December 4 for the 250 wards in the national capital.

The BJP-ruled Centre in May unified the three municipal corporations into the Municipal Corporation of Delhi and brought down the number of wards from 272 to 250.

Explained: Why BJP remains undefeated in MCD polls for 15 years?

The saffron party, which has won three consecutive terms, is aiming to continue the winning streak. It is interesting to note that the BJP has emerged victorious in the civic polls despite not being in power in the union territory.

So, what has worked in favour of BJP in last 3 elections?

2007: Anti-Incumbency
After registering a thumping victory in 2002, Congress under the then Delhi CM Sheila Dikshit's leadership failed to repeat the magic due to anti-incumbency. In 2007, the BJP defeated the grand old party in the bipolar contest for the MCD poll. The saffron party put up an impressive show by winning 164 of the 272 seats to oust the Congress which bagged 69 wards in a bitterly-fought elections.

MCD polls: ACB summons AAP MLA Akhilesh Pati Tripathi in bribe-for-ticket caseMCD polls: ACB summons AAP MLA Akhilesh Pati Tripathi in bribe-for-ticket case

2012: Corruption Allegations
In the first municipal elections after the MCD was divided in three parts (South, North and East), BJP captured 138 out of total 272 seats, while the Congress came a distant second with 78 seats. Thus, it retained control over Delhi Municipality Corporations, winning all the three newly-carved civic bodies. However, the grand old party made a minor gain of 11 seats more than its total tally in 2007 elections. It has to be noted that BSP bagged 15 seats.

It was a cakewalk for the BJP as the Congress, which had become weaker with internal feuds and corruption allegations against Sheila Dikshit's Delhi government.

2017: Modi Wave
This was a different poll simply because the BJP was riding on Modi wave while the AAP had emerged victorious in Delhi elections defeating the national parties BJP and Congress in 2015.

The BJP's strategy to drop sitting councillors worked wonders for the saffron party as it won 181 seats with AAP coming distant second with 48 seats while the Congress being pushed to the third place with 30 seats.

MCD polls: Delhi BJP issues first list of 232 candidatesMCD polls: Delhi BJP issues first list of 232 candidates

Will BJP Retain MCD?

This is the first MCD poll after the reunification of three municipal bodies in Delhi. The Centre passed a law to unify the three corporations and reduced the number of wards from 272 to 250.

The BJP in its manifesto has made several promises to the voters this time that include houses for slum dwellers, improvement in the civic amenities, strengthening the civic body, checking corruption, and ensuring proper disposal of garbage among others. The manifesto also carried the pictures of flats allotted to slum dwellers recently in Kalkaji, the key for which was handed over to the beneficiaries by Prime Minister Narendra Modi recently. This clearly indicates that Modi factor plays a role in the muncipal poll too.

The BJP has chosen candidates from across the communities. According to former mayor and Delhi BJP general secretary Harsh Malhotra, it has given tickets to 23 Punjabis, 21 Vaishyas, 42 Brahmins, 34 Jats, 26 Purvanchalis, 22 Rajputs, 17 Gujjars, 13 Jatavs, nine Balmikis, nine Yadavs, one Sindhi and two from Uttarakhand. "The candidates also include seven Sikhs, three Muslims and one from the Jain community," he said.

With several AAP ministers facing corruption charges and Sateyendar Jain's massage video being leaked online, Kejriwal-led party is on the back foot for now. The saffron party still has the strong chances of returning to power.

MCD polls 2022: Kejriwal issues '10 guarantees', promises to make Delhi garbage-freeMCD polls 2022: Kejriwal issues '10 guarantees', promises to make Delhi garbage-free

What Survey Polls Say?

Going by the ABP News-CVoter survey, the ruling party will emerge victorious with a vote share of 41.5 per cent. However, the seats will witness a huge drop as it is likely to win in the range of 118-138. AAP, from 49 in 2017, will increase its vote share and seats. It is predicted to win 104-124 seats with a vote share of 40 per cent while Congress will face yet another humiliation by securing around 4-12 seats with a vote share of 16.5 per cent.

What has remained the BJP's strength is that it has managed to retain its vote share poll after poll. Thanks to it organisational skills, the cadre-based party has managed to outperform its rivals when it comes to municipal polls in the national capital.

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