Adesh Gupta Quits As Delhi BJP Chief, Days After AAP's Civic Poll Victory

The AAP defeated the BJP in the closely watched MCD elections this week, ending the BJP's 15-year tenure.

Adesh Gupta was chief of the Delhi unit of the BJP.

New Delhi:

Delhi BJP chief Adesh Gupta resigned from his position on Sunday, days after his party lost out to Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal's Aam Aadmi Party in the high-stakes elections to the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD).

Virendra Sachdeva has been made the working president of the party till the appointment of Mr Gupta's successor, the BJP said. Adesh Gupta had been appointed the chief of the BJP's Delhi unit in June 2020.

On Friday, ending speculation over the party staking a claim on the mayor's post despite losing the civic polls, Adesh Gupta had said the MCD mayor will be from the AAP and the BJP will play the role of a "strong opposition"

Several BJP leaders had earlier hinted that the party take a shot for the mayor's post despite losing the civic polls.

"Now over to electing a mayor for Delhi. It will all depend on who can hold the numbers in a close contest, which way the nominated councillors vote etc. Chandigarh has a BJP mayor, for instance," the BJP's IT department chief Amit Malviya had tweeted on Wednesday when the results were being declared.

Hints dropped by other party leaders, including Manjinder Singh Sirsa and Tajinder Pal Bagga, also gave rise to speculation that the BJP might go for the mayor's post.

It was further buttressed by the example of Chandigarh, where the AAP had earlier this year emerged as the single-largest party by winning 14 of the 35 wards in the municipal polls, but the BJP secured the mayor's post.

Mr Gupta, however, put all the speculation to rest. "BJP will play the role of a strong opposition in the MCD," he told NDTV.

"The AAP has got the peoples' mandate, so they can have their mayor. We extend them good wishes," Mr Gupta told news agency PTI.

The AAP on Wednesday defeated the BJP in the closely watched civic polls. The Arvind Kejriwal-led party scored 134 of the 250 wards, while the BJP won 104. The BJP had overseen the MCD for 15 years.