Celebrations started at the Aam Aadmi Party office in the national capital after the trends showed that the party crossed the halfway mark in the Delhi Municipal Corporation elections on Wednesday.
The party workers gathered in front of the office and rejoiced, danced and chanted slogans praising party chief Arvind Kejriwal.
As the counting of votes progresses in the Municipal Corporation of Delhi polls, both Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) are claiming to win the polls but the latest trends suggest AAP securing 112 seats so far and leading in 20; while the BJP is leading on 14 wards (winning 91) so far.
Speaking to ANI, BJP leader Parvesh Verma said that the people of Delhi have seen the "lies" of Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and have voted for the BJP.
"BJP contested well on issues & exposed lies-corruption of AAP. They had said BJP will get 20 seats & AAP will get 230. It's a neck-to-neck fight. Polls results could be anything. Final results yet to come but BJP hopeful of majority," Delhi BJP chief Adesh Gupta.
Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann, who was present on the occasion, hailed Kejriwal stating that he "uprooted" the 15-year-long Congress rule in the city and he is doing the same with the BJP in MCD.
"Arvind Kejriwal uprooted 15-year-long Congress rule in Delhi & now the 15-yr-long (BJP) rule in MCD. It shows people of Delhi don't like politics of hatred, they vote for schools, hospitals, electricity, cleanliness and infrastructure," he said.
"The BJP has got the answer today that the people of Delhi vote for those who work, and not for the ones who defame. The BJP fielded its MPs, Ministers, CBI and ED, but the people of Delhi still voted for the AAP. The people have given a befitting reply to the BJP for the allegations that it levelled against Kejriwal. We will make Delhi the most beautiful city in the world," Raghav Chadha said.
The AAP is leading in 40 wards and has won 97 so far, according to the latest data at 12.30 pm, while the BJP is leading in 25 wards and has won 75 so far.
The high-decibel battle which was fought in the election campaign ahead of the polling on December 4, witnessed the claims and counter-claims by both parties (BJP, AAP) of winning the elections, however, it all boils down to December 7 when the outcome of the election would be revealed.
The polls for 250 wards in the national capital were held on December 4 with about 50 per cent voter turnout and a total of 1,349 candidates were in the fray. However, the low voter turnout may not be an indicator of pro-incumbency with the exit polls predicting the AAP win in the MCD polls.
Congress, which is mostly focussing on the success of the Bharat Jodo Yatra, was not predicted (in the exit polls) to be a prominent challenger in the recently conducted polling. The party is predicted to get only a handful of seats.
However, the high-stakes civic polls are largely seen as a three-way contest between the BJP, the AAP and the Congress.
For the counting, the Commission has set up 42 counting centres across the city. 68 Election Observers have already been deployed by the Commission under whose supervision the counting of votes shall be carried out by the Returning Officers in the presence of candidates or their representatives.
Further, the Commission has also deployed 136 engineers from Electronics Corporation of India Limited (ECIL) at these counting centres to attend to any technical issues regarding the EVMs which may arise during the counting of votes.
Special Media Rooms to facilitate viewing of live results on the Commission's web portal on the LED screens at these 42 counting centres.
These centres are under multi-layered security and entry of persons authorized by the Commission shall only be allowed by the security personnel deployed at these centres.
Delhi had witnessed highly charged campaigning by AAP and BJP which made top leaders, including Union ministers, chief ministers of BJP-ruled states and MPs hit the streets for door-to-door campaigning and meetings to garner public support.
The BJP, which has governed the civic body in Delhi since 2007, is looking to maintain its winning streak.
This was the first civic election after the fresh delimitation exercise. There were 272 wards in Delhi and three corporations - NDMC, SDMC, and EDMC in Delhi from 2012-2022 that later reunified into an MCD that had formally come into existence on May 22. (ANI)