Delhi Polls: Defeat for 4 ex-mayors, other municipal leaders fielded by BJP

Delhi BJP Chief Manoj Tiwari speaks to the media at his residence, as counting of votes for Delhi Assembly election begins

All four former mayors fielded by the BJP in the just-concluded Delhi polls received a drubbing at the hands of the AAP as the municipal leaders were reduced to second positions in the constituencies they were fighting the elections from.

The results for the elections to the 70-member Delhi Assembly were announced on Tuesday, with the AAP nearly replicating its stunning performance of 2015, winning 62 seats.

Betting big on municipal leaders, the BJP had fielded four former mayors, as many ex-deputy mayors and a host of other sitting and former councillors in the poll that was largely seen as a battle between the ruling Aam Aadmi Party and the BJP, which went aggressive during the high-octane campaign.

In the polls, 672 candidates -- 593 men and 79 women -- tested their fortunes.

The four former mayors -- Azad Singh, Ravinder Gupta, Yogender Chandolia and Khushi Ram -- lost to their AAP rivals.

In Mundka, Singh, a former North Delhi mayor, polled 71,135 votes losing to AAP's Dharampal Lakra who amassed 90,293.

Shoaib Iqbal trounced Gupta from the Matia Mahal seat. Iqbal secured 67,282 votes, while the former North Delhi mayor got 17,041 votes.

In Karol Bagh, a reserved seat, Chandolia got 35,734 votes losing to AAP's Visesh Ravi who bagged 67,494 votes.

In Ambedkar Nagar, also a reserved seat, Ajay Dutt of the AAP got 62,871 votes reducing Khushi Ram, a former South Delhi mayor to 34,544 votes.

All the three municipal corporations -- North, South and East corporations -- in Delhi are controlled by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

Sitting councillors, including Jai Prakash, standing committee chairman of the NDMC; Shikha Rai, councillor and former Leader of House of the SDMC; Manish Chaudhary of the NDMC; former standing committee chairman of SDMC Ashish Sood; Shailandra Monty and Krishna Gahlot of SDMC; and former councillors including Mahendra Nagpal, Suman Gupta, Lata Sodhi and Anil Sharma, also lost in the high-stakes elections.

Rai, who got 43,563 votes, lost to AAP's sitting MLA Saurabh Bhardwaj who bagged 60,372 votes from the Greater Kailash seat.

The BJP, which swept the 2017 civic polls in Delhi, had betted big on its municipal leaders to shore up the party's fortune for the February 8 polls.

In the poll results announced on Tuesday, the BJP could just manage eight seats.

The municipal leaders, serving and former councillors of the three BJP-led civic bodies (NDMC, SDMC and EDMC), who fought the polls, numbered about 20.

The former deputy mayors who contested the elections are -- Vijay Bhagat (North Delhi) Badli, Kailash Sankla (South Delhi) from Madipur, Kiran Vaid (East Delhi) from Trilokpuri and Rekha Gupta (North Delhi) Shalimar Bagh.

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