Poll preparations got halted because of the second Covid-19 wave, which wreaked havoc in the national capital.

New Delhi: All the three main contenders, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Congress, are gearing up for the upcoming Delhi municipal corporation elections which are scheduled in April 2022. The poll preparations were halted by the second wave of Covid-19 pandemic which wreaked havoc in the national capital.

Currently, the three municipal corporations of Delhi are ruled by the BJP.

In 2017, the party won 47 out of 64 wards in the East Delhi municipal corporation, 70 out of 104 in the South Delhi municipal corporation and 64 out of 104 seats in the North Delhi municipal body.

“We have planned a three-day Ashirvad Yatra in the third week of August across the capital, which will be led by cabinet ministers of the central government and would be attended by the rank and file of the Delhi BJP,” Aadesh Gupta, Delhi BJP president, told The Sunday Guardian. “We are confident of winning the MCD elections again in the national capital. People trust the leadership of BJP and the work done by the party,” he added.

The BJP is holding daily review meetings in the run-up to the Yatra, with all the senior leaders giving their suggestions and feedback to the state leadership. The party wants to retain the MCD anyhow after its very poor performance in the 2020 Delhi Assembly elections in which it won eight out of 70 seats.

“The Assembly and MCD polls are totally different; even in the 2015 Assembly elections, the AAP won 67 out of 70 seats, but in the 2017 MCD polls, it was decimated and got only few seats more than the Congress,” said a BJP-office bearer who is heading the party poll preparation.

The AAP, which is ruling the Delhi government, is also making key organizational changes for the MCD elections. The party has appointed Assembly segment-wise in-charge, Parliament seat in-charge, district in-charge etc. “We are going to appoint ward in-charge for all the 272 municipal wards in the national capital in the coming month,” Rituraj, a MLA of the party, told The Sunday Guardian. “People are fed up with the misgovernance and misrule of the BJP in the MCD and want a change. They will definitely support the AAP this time as the AAP’s governance record is trusted and tested by the people of the capital,” he added.

The Congress, which has ruled Delhi for 15 years and won the MCD polls in 2002, is also hopeful of a comeback this time. Anil Choudhary, state president of the Congress, told The Sunday Guardian: “People want change, BJP has indulged in misgovernance of the MCD in their 15-year rule, employees of the MCD are on strike as they are not getting salaries, the wind of change was visible in the MCD bypolls in which we won seats.”

“The people of Delhi remembered the works of development done by Sheila Dikshit during her tenure as chief minister in the capital; they will support the Congress. Moreover, people have not forgotten the riots of North-East Delhi and how the social fabric of the capital was damaged. Both the ruling parties, the BJP and AAP, are responsible for this deterioration of Delhi,” he added. In a nutshell, it is clear that in the coming months, the political temperature of the capital will increase.