New Delhi, Mar 23: The State Election Commission on Wednesday postponed the Delhi MCD Elections 2017 voting date to the three municipal corporations by a day from April 22 to April 23 in view of the CBSE board examination. The counting of the votes has also been changed from April 25 to April 26. MCD Elections 2017 voting in 272 wards was earlier scheduled to be held on April 22 and the counting of the votes were scheduled on April 25.
SK Srivastava, who notified of the changes on behalf of the state election commission, also informed that dates for all other poll processes, including for nominations, would remain unchanged. The nomination process will start from March 27, last date for filing nominations is April 3, scrutiny of nominations will take place on 5 April and the last date for withdrawing nominations is April 8.
Total number of wards in North, South, East Municipal Corporations are 272. Number of wards in each MCD – North, South, and East – 104, 104 and 64 respectively.
NEW DATES FOR MCD ELECTIONS 2017
While the MCD Elections would be a litmus test for the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) as it will be contesting in the Delhi municipal corporation elections for the first time, it would be a case of saving prestige for Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) which has held control over the MCD for 10 years. However, considering how AAP swiped the Delhi assembly polls and its popularity in the capital city, it would be interesting to see if BJP would be able to swing the magic wand in MCD elections as well as it did in Assembly Elections 2017.
The BJP has been ruling the MCD since 2007 in which the saffron party had emerged as a winner winning a total of 138 out of 272 seats in three municipal corporations. The last polls were held in 2012. On the other hand it is Congress party which would also have to work at its best to redeem its fortune in Delhi.
The biggest test that lies ahead for AAP before MCD elections is bypoll to the Rajouri Garden assembly seat which will be held on April 9. Rajouri Garden assembly seat has been has been lying vacant since January after AAP legislator Jarnail Singh quit to contest against Parkash Singh Badal from Lambi in Punjab Assembly Elections 2017.
While winning or losing the Rajouri Garden seat won’t change much of political landscape for AAP in Delhi as the party swiped a total of 67 out of 70 seats in Delhi assembly polls, losing it would be a big blow as it has already lost in Goa and Punjab assembly polls. The party’s performance in the two states raised questions over the party’s national ambitions and whether it will be able to hold the reins of municipal corporations in Delhi.
To this, senior AAP leader Kumar Vishwas said that AAP had registered a ‘historic victory’ in 2015 assembly polls despite a rout in 2014 Lok Sabha elections. “We will go into the MCD elections with the good work done by the AAP government in the city. Be it opening mohalla clinics, reforms in education or providing drinking water, people of Delhi are seeing all this happening. We will win the MCD polls,” said Vishwas.
While all the parties have started campaigning for the municipal corporation elections, the Chief Minister of Delhi Arvind Kejriwal raised doubts regarding use of Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) in view of the doubts that have been raised lately.
BSP supremo Mayawati alleged foul play in the functioning of Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) after her party’s dismal show at the Uttar Pradesh Assembly Elections 2017. (Also Read: Do Arvind Kejriwal, Mayawati have a point? All about the voting machines banned in other countries)
Not only Mayawati, and Arvind Kejriwal have been raising the tampering in EVMs, many other leaders including Harish Rawat too echoed their views on the matter. Althout the Election Commission of India refuted Mayawati’s claims saying that the EVMs cannot be tampered with, two parties, AAP and Congress, have requested and sought the use of ballot papers in the upcoming MCD Elections 2017 while stating that the EVMs could be rigged.