The results of the elections for the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) are set to be declared on December 7. The polling for the 250 seats was conducted on December 4. It was the first election to the municipal corporation since its reunification in May.
The elections coincided with the state assembly elections of Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh. Their polling took place in two phases, on December 1 and December 5, and the results will be declared on December 8.
MCD is one of the largest municipal bodies in the world and caters to over 11 million residents. It runs primary schools, dispensaries, waste management, roads and sanitation in the capital of India. The MCD polls are also unique because it is a junction where the central government and the state government compete with each other.
MCD elections: The past
In 2011, the Delhi assembly passed the Delhi Municipal Corporation Amendment Bill (DMCAB) to trifurcate the MCD into three new municipalities, South, North and East Delhi. Under Sheila Dixit, the state government said it was being done to “improve its administration”.
Till 2017, the Delhi civic body’s elections were held separately for three municipal corporations.
The next elections were scheduled to be held in April 2022. However, the State Election Commission (SEC) deferred the elections indefinitely in March.
It was reported that before the SEC’s press conference, then Lt Governor of Delhi Anil Bijal sent an unofficial communication to SEC about the Centre’s plans to merge the three municipalities.
On March 22, the Centre approved the Delhi Municipal Corporation (Amendment) Bill to re-unite the three municipal corporations back to a single body. The unified MCD came into existence on May 22.
On July 8, 2022, a delimitation committee was set up to submit a report “within four months” and reduce the seats to “not more than 250”. Since 2011, the number of seats in MCD has been 272.
On November 4, the Delhi SEC announced the election dates for the unified MCD.
MCD elections: The present
Polling took place across Delhi on December 4. After weeks of high-decibel campaigning by the Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP), the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) and the Indian National Congress (INC), a voter turnout of 50.48 per cent was recorded in the elections.
A total of 1,349 candidates took part in the elections.
MCD elections: The future
The exit polls, released on December 5, signalled a clean sweep by the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP). All the different exit polls showed a clear majority of the AAP.
If it happens, it will be for the first time in the last 15 years that the BJP will not control the MCD. Since 2007, it has not lost any MCD elections. In 2007 and 2012, Congress had a government in Delhi, but BJP swept the MCD polls. In 2017, despite the high popularity of Arvind Kejriwal, BJP managed to win the MCD elections.
2017 MCD Election results:
If AAP wins, it will be a big boost for Arvind Kejriwal’s party, which has been expanding across North and West India.