MCD polls confirm Cong losing streak
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After setbacks in elections to the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation and the state assemblies in Uttar Pradesh, Punjab and Goa, the Congress today crashed to humiliating defeats in polls to all the three newly created municipal corporations in Delhi.
Although it had no star leader at the helm, the BJP became the first party in 50 years to return to power in the civic body — the Congress had done it in 1962. The BJP won 59 of the 104 seats in North Delhi and 35 of the 64 in East Delhi. It emerged as the single largest party in South Delhi, winning 44 of the 104 seats.
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh sought to play down the Congress's dismal show, saying the MCD polls were fought on local issues. "These are local elections, local issues, people who work for the people. These are the qualities that count. In every election, there are winners and losers and one has to accept it with good grace," he said.
But Congress sources conceded that the results of the elections — the first in the capital after the controversy-hit Commonwealth Games, were a reflection of the larger "national mood" against the party.
"In the 2009 Lok Sabha election, at least 17 major cities in the country, from Bangalore to Jammu, gave their mandate to the Congress. The results in Delhi indicate a rethink among people in urban areas in the wake of the total drift and mismanagement by the UPA II government," a senior AICC functionary told The Indian Express.
Another leader said, "UPA II has squandered the gains it made in urban areas from the Indo-US nuclear deal and the PM's image, and has come to be seen as a government mired in scams and scandals. The leadership does not inspire confidence in the people any longer. This is a verdict on the UPA and not on the Sheila Dikshit government."
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