BJP's gambit in replacing all its sitting municipal councillors, putting an outsider, actor Manoj Tiwari, at the helm of the state unit and using PM Narendra Modi as a trump card has paid it handsome dividends in the elections to the three municipal corporations in Delhi. It steamrolled AAP and restricted Congress to a modest revival by taking 181 of the 270 seats--that's over two -thirds.
For AAP, the municipal election outcome could not have been worse, coming as it did on the heels of its humiliating defeat in the Rajouri Garden bypoll and soon after its loss in Punjab and Goa.
AAP had hoped it would be able to favourably contrast its performance in the state government with the the state government with the BJP's in the MCD, but the strategy didn't work. Also, by dumping all its sitting councillors, the BJP managed to signal a clean break from its 10-year-old legacy even as it rode on Modi's huge post-UP popularity. Raising a scare over disease outbreaks because of the insanitary conditions in the city didn't serve AAP well.