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Published On: Thu, Apr 27th, 2017

Arvind Kejriwal called meeting of AAP legislators after defeat in MCD polls.

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C-F5ucaV0AA76roNEW DELHI : Struggling with an all-time low in popularity ratings evidenced by successive poll defeats, Arvind Kejriwal and his Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) today went beyond their go-to theme of “faulty EVMs (voting machines)” and conceded a different reason for its loss yesterday in elections in Delhi.

The BJP won 181 of 270 municipal wards, leaving 48 for AAP and 30 for Congress. At a meeting of lawmakers, AAP discussed that the “spillover effect” of Uttar Pradesh, where the BJP won a record majority last month, had impacted the Municipal Corporation of Delhi election. “The UP victory, combined with AAP’s loss in Punjab and Goa emboldened the BJP and to fight Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s phenomenally increased stature was, even for Arvind Kejriwal, a tall task,” said an AAP lawmaker, sharing details of the meeting.
MCD Elections 2017 Results: The AAP office bore a deserted look on Wednesday.
After discussions with lawmakers and newly-elected councilors this morning, Mr Kejriwal set in motion a major revamp of the party after AAP lost the MCD election by a giant margin, adding to the tally of defeats just two years after it stunned seasoned rivals with a spectacular mandate to rule the capital.

Minister Gopal Rai will be in charge of Delhi instead of Dilip Pandey, who quit yesterday. In more resignations ahead of a reported rejig, Sanjay Singh has resigned as convenor in Punjab.Last month, after AAP lost its debut elections in Punjab and Goa, Mr Kejriwal and other leaders of the party blamed it on EVMs and accused the Election Commission of doing its best to facilitate BJP victories.

After the latest defeat, many leaders have questioned the EVM line.  Bhagwant Mann, one of AAP’s most prominent faces, has accused the leadership of “behaving like a mohalla cricket team” and making a “historic blunder” in Punjab. He said yesterday the party should look within, instead of blaming EVMs.

The civic poll results indicate that since the 2015 Delhi election, AAP’s vote share in the capital has dropped by almost half from 54 per cent to around 26. Some 40 AAP candidates lost their deposit.In the assembly election, AAP won 67 of Delhi’s 70 seats, leaving only three for its nearest rival, the BJP.

MCD Elections 2017: The BJP celebrated a huge win in Delhi civic polls yesterday.
Weeks ago, the party lost one of those seats to the BJP in a by-election, so badly in fact, that its candidate even lost the security deposit. AAP’s critics called the loss a precursor of its MCD election defeat.

Two leaders crossed over to the BJP during the civic poll campaign. The Chief Minister had alleged recently that his MLAs were being contacted and attempts are being made to draw them away.

AAP confronts another potential crisis next month when the Election Commission is likely to decide on a complaint seeking the disqualification of 21 of its lawmakers for allegedly violating “office of profit” rules. If nearly a third of AAP’s lawmakers are disqualified, the party faces by-elections that it could find tough to win.zeenews.

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