Section of Congress warned her against trifurcating MCD

The Congress sought to downplay the party's defeat in the Delhi municipal elections on Tuesday, saying that contrary to the Bharatiya Janata Party's interpretation, the civic polls could not be regarded as a “semi-final” for the Assembly elections scheduled next year.

“Last time, the BJP had won the MCD polls but the Congress came to power in the Assembly,” Congress spokesperson Rashid Alvi said, adding: “The Congress even went on to win all the seven Parliament seats. The MCD polls should be seen only as MCD polls.”

Coming as this defeat does, after the results of the Mumbai civic polls, the concern in party circles is that the Congress is losing support in the metros in the wake of a string of scams and spiralling prices of essential commodities.

Indeed, East Delhi MP and Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit's son Sandeep Dikshit hinted at this when he attributed the defeat to a disconnect between the party and the people and the BJP's success in taking advantage of scams like 2G spectrum and price rise.

For Ms. Dikshit's detractors, of course, it will be an open season. She had pushed hard to trifurcate the MCD despite stiff resistance from several of her party colleagues who had warned her that attempting to split the 53-year-old body ahead of the polls could prove expensive for the party.

She had addressed a series of rallies across the city, highlighting the development of the city — comparing it unfavourably with the areas controlled by the MCD. But clearly, that was not enough to counter the BJP's focused campaign on price rise and corruption.

With Ms. Dikshit at odds with Delhi Pradesh Congress Committee chief J.P. Agarwal, the coming days are likely to see a fresh outbreak of hostilities between the two leaders. While Mr. Agarwal kept his peace on Tuesday, senior party leader Subhash Chopra, who had led a delegation to party president Sonia Gandhi last year, opposing the trifurcation of the MCD, said its timing was “totally wrong.”

The defeat in East Delhi Corporation, one of the three new corporations, is seen as particularly disappointing for Ms. Dikshit as great deal of effort had gone into nurturing the area represented by her son in the Lok Sabha.

Municipal elections are not semi-final for Assembly polls, says Congress

Dismal show could further damage relations between Dikshit, PCC chief

Keywords: MCD polls

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