New Delhi: The BJP was on Wednesday set to retain the three municipal corporations in the national capital for the third term in a row, handing a humiliating defeat to the Arvind Kejriwal-led AAP and the Congress.
As per the Delhi State Election Commission, the Bharatiya Janata Party so far has won 143 seats and is leading in 31 seats, the Aam Aadmi Party was a distant second having won 35 seats and leading in 16, while the Congress has won so far only 22 seats and is leading in 4.
While the BJP credited its continued electoral success to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the AAP reiterated its allegations that EVMs were rigged in favour of the BJP -- an accusation it has been levelling since its defeat in Punjab and Goa assembly polls.
The Congress drubbing saw its Delhi unit Chief Ajay Maken announcing his resignation from the post owning up moral responsibility for the defeat, while veteran party leader and former Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit put the onus of defeat squarely on local leaders.
The AAP's defeat comes more than two years after the Delhi Assembly elections where it humiliated the BJP, winning 67 of the 70 Delhi assembly polls.
"Without rigging, such a massive win is not possible," AAP leader and Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia told reporters.
He said it was "unbelievable" that the BJP could return to power in the civic bodies with such a massive win even as the MCD in the last 10 years had failed to maintain the upkeep of the city.
The BJP dismissed the allegations with Union Minister M. Venkaiah Naidu saying that the AAP failed to understand the mood of the nation.
"He (Kejriwal) was not ready to perform... He did not want to work with the central government. He did not understand the mood of the nation. The mood of the nation is 'Modi'," Naidu said.
AAP MLA Alka Lamba, who represents Chandni Chowk constituency in central Delhi, offered to resign from all party posts taking moral responsibility for the party's defeat in the municipal seats falling under her constituency.
The poll win is the latest in a series of BJP election victories credited largely to Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
BJP President Amit Shah termed the party's resounding win in the civic polls as another public endorsement of Modi's leadership and rule and a vote against the "negative politics" of the AAP.
Modi expressed his gratitude to the people of Delhi for the resounding win.
Delhi BJP chief Manoj Tiwari said the party will not celebrate the victory but "dedicate" it to the 25 CRPF troopers who died in a Maoist attack in Sukma.
Delhi Congress chief Ajay Maken took moral responsibility for the party's poor show and announced he was resigning from his post.
The win in Delhi's civic polls has boosted the BJP's prospects for the 2019 Lok Sabha elections after the party scored major electoral victories in Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand. The party also formed new governments in Goa and Manipur.
The BJP chief said the Delhi verdict, coming close on the heels of his party's success in the assembly polls in Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Goa and Manipur, has only taken forward the "Modi and BJP juggernaut".