Counting Day: Litmus test for Kejriwal

RSTV Bureau

Counting for the three Delhi local bodies began at 8 AM on Wednesday morning  and the results are likely to be declared by 11 AM

The verdict is expected to reshape the political equations in the country’s power capital.

Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal flanked by security personnel after casting his vote, in New Delhi

Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal flanked by security personnel after casting his vote, in New Delhi

The result will also determine whether the sway of Arvind Kejriwal-led AAP, which had stunned all by bagging 67 seats out of 70 in the 2015 Delhi Assembly polls, still holds and whether the party would be able to put behind its humiliating Rajouri Garden bypoll defeat.

Kejriwal’s party had also suffered a defeat in Punjab and a whitewash in Goa Assembly polls.

However, the AAP national convener refused to acknowledge the bye-election verdict as a “trailer of the MCD polls”.

The Party had warned of launching a “movement” if the MCD exit poll results, which have predicted a BJP sweep, come true.

The high-stakes civic polls were held on April 23 which saw a voter turnout of 53.58 per cent, a shade higher than in the 2012 elections.

“We are all working as per the schedule. All the EVMs have been deposited with due seal and counting will begin at 8 AM. There are 35 counting centres and we are all geared up,” Delhi State Election Commissioner S K Srivastava said.

The three main players — the AAP, the BJP and the Congress — had campaigned intensely ahead of the polls and all of them are expecting a favourable mandate, even as an exit poll has predicted a “landslide victory” for the saffron party.