The Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) swept the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) election, winning all the three civic corporations convincingly.
For the BJP, which fought the election in the name of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the win is seen as a sign of the party reclaiming the ground it lost to the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) and the Congress in Delhi.
For Arvind Kejriwal-led AAP, the crushing defeat in the MCD election exposes chinks in its armour and raises questions on leadership and whether people of Delhi are showing signs of disenchantment with the party.
MCD ELECTION 2017: Full coverage
HERE ARE THE TOP SEVEN TAKEAWAYS FROM THE MCD ELECTION:
#Modi wave continues: In the Narendra Modi versus Arvind Kejriwal battle, the latter's Aam Aadmi Party remained a distant second in its own den--Delhi. The BJP recorded a massive 40 per cent vote share in the MCD election, followed by 25 per cent for the Aam Aadmi Party and roughly 21 per cent for the Congress.
The victory is answer to all the naysayers who doubted the force of Modi wave in Delhi. With people voting for Narendra Modi, the BJP now faces the enormous task of delivering on key issues such as sanitation in the municipalities.
#AAP loses ground in Delhi: Experts are reading the defeat of Aam Aadmi Party in the MCD election as capital punishment for Arvind Kejriwal. After electoral setbacks in Punjab, Goa and now Delhi municipal corporation, Arvind Kejriwal needs to start thinking about getting his house in order. The party may find it difficult to reach the 50-mark in the election for 270 seats in three corporations.
While the party is still popular among slum-dwellers and lower-middle class, it seems to have lost connect with women, youth and upper-middle class voters. According to some experts, Muslim-dominated areas also have ditched the Aam Aadmi Party this time.
#Cracks in Congress: Several Congressmen who quit the party ahead of the MCD election blamed the leadership for its inability to reach out to them. After the disastrous show in Delhi Assembly election, followed by the loss in Rajouri Garden by-poll, the defeat in MCD election calls for an overhaul of the Congress, if wants to stay relevant. The stepping down of Ajay Maken from the post of Delhi Congress chief could be the first step in that direction.
The only silver lining for the Congress is its vote share increasing from a dismal 8 per cent in 2015 to 21 per cent in the MCD election 2017.
#The big losers: Aam Aadmi Party MLA Alka Lamba offered to resign from all party posts after AAP candidates from her Chandni Chowk constituency failed to win. Other Aam Aadmi Party leaders like Manish Sisodia, Kapil Mishra, Rakhi Birla, Somnath Birla and Gopal Rai could not produce desired results from their constituencies. Much talk, and little work on the ground by the party is being seen as the reason for its rout in the MCD election.
#Manoj Tiwari woos Purvanchal voters: The BJP's gamble of appointing Manoj Tiwari as its Delhi unit president paid off with lower-middle class Purvanchal voters backing the BJP rather than the AAP. Tiwari, a popular Bhojpuri actor and singer, managed to lure the crucial votebank towards the BJP.
#The EVM blame game: As expected, the Aam Aadmi Party blamed electronic voting machines (EVMs) for its debacle in the MCD election. From Gopal Rai and Manish Sisodia to Ashutosh, all AAP leaders alleged that EVMs gifted the victory to the BJP in Delhi municipal corporation election.
#Recounting throws surprises: In Daryaganj, a Congress candidate challenged the BJP candidate's victory; on recounting, he won by 59 votes. In Chhatarpur, a BJP candidate won by two votes after recounting.
(with inputs from Kumar Kunal, Snehanshu Shekhar and Seema Gupta)