AAP, BJP join hands to corner Cong in civic body fight

The Asian Age.  | shashi bhushan

Metros, Delhi

“BJP floor managers will be asked to explain the reasons for supporting the AAP candidate,” he said.

South Delhi Municipal Corporation (SDMC)

New Delhi: BJP was left embarrassed on Thursday after its councillors in the South Delhi Municipal Corporation (SDMC) cross-voted in favour of a candidate from the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) to defeat the Congress nominee.

Election for the three members of the standing committee was held after the election of mayor and deputy mayor, which BJP candidates won unopposed. Based on its strength in the House, BJP had fielded two candidates — who won comfortably — for the three posts of the standing committee members. Congress and AAP fielded one candidate each.

Voting was held to elect three members of the standing committee, in which AAP candidate Narender Kumar defeated Congress’s Abhishek Dutt for the third seat. Sources in the SDMC said that cross-voting by the BJP councillors ensured the victory of the AAP candidate.  

On the other hand, Delhi BJP leadership was found to be clueless in the case. A senior Delhi BJP leader said that there must have been some mistake and that they were completely unaware of it.

“BJP floor managers will be asked to explain the reasons for supporting the AAP candidate,” he said.   

Sources said some BJP councillors cross-voted in the first preference votes and that majority of them voted their second preference votes to the AAP candidate. A senior BJP functionary, aware of floor management, confirmed cross-voting by party councillors.

Mr Dutt, the Congress candidate, told this newspaper that the AAP candidate’s victory once again established that BJP and AAP are two sides of the same coin and that they are hand in glove.

“Congress party regularly says that AAP and BJP are working together just to remain in power instead of doing any work to improve the civic infrastructure or the conditions of the sanitation workers. On Thursday, BJP gave its second preference vote to AAP only to ensure Congress’ defeat,” said Mr Dutt.

Delhi BJP general secretary, Ravinder Gupta, however, denied any alliance with AAP.

“BJP has not formed nor is it going to form any alliance in the municipal corporations with AAP and there is no question of joining hands with either AAP or Congress,” Mr Gupta said.