New Delhi: The BJP's early lead in all the three municipal corporations of Delhi is a clear indication that the people have voted for Prime Minister Narendra Modi and vented their ire on the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) led by Arvind Kejriwal.
The verdict clearly indicates that Delhiites have no more expectations from Kejriwal as they feel that the AAP has miserably failed in delivering its duties in the last two years.
Eyeing victory for a third-term, the BJP paraded some of its biggest names and carefully recruited power players from its rivals. Union Ministers Rajnath Singh, Uma Bharti and Smriti Irani campaigned in the different precincts of the capital to ensure the BJP's splendid show.
The BJP focused on Prime Minister Modi's image and achievements, thereby showing that the AAP and Congress leaders were no match to him.
Moreover, the BJP got an advantage as Delhi Congress leaders Arvinder Singh Lovely and Barkha Shukla Singh joined the saffron brigade just before the elections.
The negative campaigning by the AAP also gave an edge to the BJP as Kejriwal in his desperate bid to convince the voters reiterated that more dengue cases will happen if the saffron party won the MCD.
Delhi BJP chief Manoj Tiwari has said the early trends clearly signify that the entire nation is with Prime Minister Modi.
"I believe the people will be happy with today's mandate. Entire country along with the PM is moving towards cleanliness campaign. Delhi needs special attention in cleanliness campaign," he said.
Kejriwal's former colleague Shazia Ilmi said it a rejection of negative politics of the conspiracy, blame game, shoot and scoot politics by the AAP.
"I would like to warn Kejriwal not to blame EVM and leave politics as a career. He is drama queen. He is very good at making baseless stories, conspiracy theories. He should not fool the people and blame other for his sins and omissions," Ilmi told ANI.
BJP leader Sambit Patra said the verdict makes it clear that Delhi did not vote for the AAP courtesy Kejriwal's aggression.
"BJP is heading toward victory and Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) is losing the elections. Kejriwal was in a hope of becoming Prime Minister after becoming Chief Minister of Delhi. Kejriwal is losing the election just because of his aggression," Patra said.
The run-up to the elections was dominated by allegations of tampered EVMs made by Kejriwal, a charge rejected by the Election Commission.
Kejriwal, who had earlier demanded that the election be postponed till arrangements for VVPAT-equipped EVM were made, also attacked the State Election Commission claiming that reports of "faulty" EVMs were pouring in from across the national capital.
The AAP supremo also alleged that many voters with valid voter slips were "not allowed" to exercise their franchise in the municipal polls.
Kejriwal's questioning of the Election Commission's impartiality was also seen by many voters as an insult to the institution.
Two years ago, the AAP had dramatically won the assembly elections as it lost just three out of Delhi's 70 seats, all to the BJP.
But Kejriwal government instead of focusing on some of its popular schemes like mohalla clinics, regulation of fee in private schools, cut in power and water bills wasted a lot of its time in fighting the Centre and the Lieutenant Governor.
The stakes for AAP were the highest as it had barely recovered from its Punjab and Goa defeats.
The Municipal Corporation of Delhi was trifurcated in 2012 into the North Delhi Municipal Corporation (NDMC), East Delhi Municipal Corporation (EDMC) and South Delhi Municipal Corporation (SDMC). There are 272 wards in the three municipal corporations. NDMC and SMDC have 104 seats each, while the EDMC has 64. All three are currently ruled by the BJP.
The polling saw a voter turnout of 53.58 per cent that was marginally higher than the 2012 figure of 53.43.