While the win wasn’t a landslide as exit polls predicted, he sent the AAP extension delirious workers. They danced wildly at the party headquarters with “MCD mein bhi Kejriwal”, the party’s theme song for municipal elections, playing in the background.
Facing strong anti-incumbency, the BJP fought hard and managed to win 104 seats, far fewer than its 2017 tally of 181 in the three former companies combined, but its share of the vote rose by three points percentages. The Saffron Party won 39.1 percent of the total vote, while the AAP’s share doubled from 21.1 percent in the last civic election to 42.1 percent, according to data from the state Election Commission.
Fighting a battle for survival, Congress barely managed to win nine seats and lost a major chunk of its vote share to the AAP and BJP.
Speaking after the victory, AAP National Coordinator and Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal asked for Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s “blessings” and the Center’s support to “clean up” and improve Delhi.
While an AAP-led MCD will face huge challenges like revamping the city’s waste management, delivering higher quality services and stamping out corruption, the relatively small 30-seat difference with the BJP won’t make the task any easier.
The run-up to the election saw intense campaigning by both the BJP and the AAP. While the former has deployed a range of national leaders, including union ministers, to seek out his candidates and has relentlessly attacked the AAP, Kejriwal’s party has vowed to replicate Delhi’s governance model in MCD.
While admitting defeat, Delhi BJP chairman Adesh Gupta said that despite 15 years as an anti-incumbent, the party’s performance was far better than expected. “We worked for the people of Delhi but maybe some people weren’t happy. But there was no anger against the BJP,” Gupta said.
Political scientists believe that the AAP moved the political discourse “from ideology to service delivery” and that the electorate stamped its approval by giving it a clear majority. “With its service delivery – good schools, mohalla clinics, electricity and water – AAP has mastered the art of service delivery, which has worked in this election,” said Manindra Thakur, professor, Jawaharlal Nehru University.
Although the AAP won seats across the city, most of them came from the New Delhi, South, West and North-West parliamentary constituencies, indicating that it gained as much support from the upscale and middle-class areas as from the villages, resettlement and unauthorized settlements and slums. The BJP, however, managed to outwit the AAP in the north-east, which was rocked by a deadly communal riot in 2020, and in East Delhi. The party also went well in Chandni Chowk which is considered the hub of the commercial class.
AAP dominated in four of the seven Lok Sabha constituencies in Delhi and BJP in two, while one saw very even competition between the two, with a slight advantage for the Saffron party.
New Delhi has seen the most one-sided competition with AAP winning 20 of 25 districts in this parliamentary constituency and BJP just five. On the flip side, the BJP won 22 of 36 wards in East Delhi, AAP only 11, Congress three and one independent. The North West Delhi, South Delhi and West Delhi parliamentary seats also saw AAP win the majority of wards while North East Delhi held a bit of edge over the BJP. The closest contest was in the Chandni Chowk parliamentary constituency where AAP won 14 wards to the BJP’s 16 and Congress and independents won one each.
Delhi Muslims gave a mixed verdict. The community voted as a block for the AAP in neighborhoods that fall under the assembly areas of Matia Mahal and Ballimaran in the Walled City, but gravitated towards Congress in the riot-hit areas of Northeast Delhi and Okhla, which had witnessed protests against the CAA. “This clearly shows that the Muslims of Delhi were not very happy with AAP’s soft Hindutva approach. In areas where the minority voted for the AAP, local party leaders have strong followings and a personal vote bank,” said Ravi Ranjan, professor of political science at the University of Delhi’s Zakir Husain Delhi College. .
Interestingly, the performance of both parties in the wards that fall under the assembly constituencies of its top leaders – Manish Sisodia, Satyendar Jain and Kailash Gahlot of AAP and Adesh Gupta and Ramvir Singh Bidhuri of the BJP – he was poor. They lost a majority of their seats to rival candidates.
The election was a mixed bag for top MCD leaders. Of the eight former mayors who contested the polls again, only Raja Iqbal Singh of Mukherjee Nagar, Neema Bhagat of Geeta Colony, Kamaljeet Sehrawat of Dwarka B and Satya Sharma of Gautam Puri were able to secure seats while Avtar Singh of Civil Lines, Sunita Kanda of Kapashera, Shyam Sharma of Hari Nagar and Bipin Bihari of Mayur Vihar II lost the election.
Aalaey Mohammad Iqbal of AAP recorded a win with the highest margin of 17,134 votes in the Chandni Mahal ward while Ashu Thakur, also of AAP, recorded the narrowest win with just 44 votes in Chittaranjan Park.
The margins of victory over a large number of seats were small: 107 results were decided by a margin of less than 2,000 votes while there were 58 seats where the winning candidate won more than 5,000 votes over the runner-up.
According to data from the state election commission, 784 out of 1,349 candidates lost their deposits. These included 370 independents, 188 congressional candidates, 128 from the BSP, 13 from AIMIM, 10 from the BJP and three from the AAP.
None of the regional groups – Bahujan Samaj Party, Janata Dal United, Asaduddin Owaisi’s AIMIM or Samajwadi Party – managed to record a single victory.
Compared to the 2017 election, the AAP got 12,12,993 more votes while the BJP got another 2,92,356. Congress, on the other hand, lost 6,48,371 votes compared to 2017.
Wading Delhi 2022 MCD election results: While AAP wins comfortable majority, here are three big results from polls