Three BJP-led municipal corporations of Delhi head to polls on April 23 with 2,537 candidates from 19 political parties and independents are in the fray for 272 wards.

The Bharatiya Janata Party, which has ruled the three civic bodies — North Delhi Municipal Corporation, East Delhi Municipal Corporation and South Delhi Municipal Corporation for the past — will look to retain hold of MCD. The party considers the MCD elections a litmus test of citizens’ faith in the run-up to 2019 general elections.

Meanwhile, Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), the party in power in the capital, and Congress will expect to wrest power from BJP. It is notable that while AAP looks to replicate its 2015 Delhi Assembly election performance, the Arvind Kejriwal-led party lost miserably in the Rajouri Garden by-election. BJP won handsomely and Congress, which came second, will hope for a resurgence.

Interestingly, the AAP has claimed that its internal survey predicts a massive victory for it in the civic polls. AAP leader Ashish Khetan said that as per the survey, it will win 218 of 272 seats. The party also claimed that it is projected to get 51.2 percent of the votes, while the BJP and the Congress will bag 28.1 per cent 9.2 per cent, respectively.

While the civic bodies go to polls on April 23, counting will take place on April 26.

Poll Promises

BJP: The party wants to aid Prime Minister’s Digital India mission and has promised to digitise MCD if voted to power again. Next, in line with Clean India mission, the BJP aims to make Delhi garbage-free. It plans to use garbage-cleaning machines and utilise waste from landfill sites to build roads. Besides, the BJP plans to make provisions for cow shelters and food for cows. Also, the party has said ti won’t announce any new taxes if voted to power.

AAP: The party in its election manifesto has promised to eradicate corruption in MCD which has been the centrepiece of its ideology. In a recently published book, the AAP took a dig at the BJP terming MCD as "most corrupt department". It has also promised house tax waiver and welfare measures for safai karamcharis. Most crucial, perhaps, is the promise to ensure that the workers get salaries by the seventh of every month.

Congress: Like the BJP, the Congress has said it will abstain from imposing new taxes and plans to lower existing house tax rates. It plans to identiy, register and provide licences to five lakh street vendors. It has promised to earmark Rs 2,000 crore for regularisation of unauthorised colonies.

Crorepati Candidates

According to the analysis of the candidate affidavits conducted by National Election Watch and Association for Democratic Reforms, the Congress has fielded highest number of crorepatis, while BJP comes a close second.

Nearly 64 percent or 163 candidates fielded by the Congress are crorepatis, while BJP’s tally of candidates with assets wirth Rs 1 crore or more stands at 141 (54 percent). The AAP has gone into the polls with 104 or 42 percent candidates.

Fringe parties such as Bahujan Samaj Party has fielded 41 crorepatis and CPI (M) has just one crorepati in the fray.

Average wealth of Congress party candidates, according to the report stands at Rs 4.36 crore, while the BJP’s is at Rs 2.89 crore. The average wealth of AAP candidates stands at Rs 1.65 crore.

2012 MCD Polls Statistics

Seats North Delhi and South Delhi  — 104 each; East Delhi: 61

Seats won: The BJP bagged 59 seats in North Delhi, 44 in South Delhi and 39 in East Delhi in the 2012 MCD polls. Congress trailed far behind with 29 seats each in North and South Delhi and 19 in east Delhi.

2017 MCD Election in Numbers

Number of wards: 272

North: 104 seats

South: 104 seats

East: 64 seats

Polling stations: 13,234

North: 5,170

South: 5074

East: 2,990

Voter Tally

The total number of electorate for the civic polls stands at 1.32 crore which includes 73.15 lakh men, 58.93 lakh women and 793 voters in the other category.

— With inputs from News18, PTI.

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