New Delhi: The Congress continued on its losing streak in Delhi as it suffered a humiliating defeat in the MCD elections on Wednesday, ending in the third position. While the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) swept the polls, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) came a distant second.

The dismal performance of the Congress party comes after a series of defeats in the national capital, beginning with the Delhi assembly elections in 2013, Lok Sabha polls in 2014, Delhi assembly elections held again in 2015 and more recently, the Rajouri Garden assembly bypolls earlier this month. The extent of the party’s electoral rout in Delhi can be gauged from the fact that it was in power for 15 consecutive years under former chief minister Sheila Dikshit till December 2013.

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According to a PTI report, quoting initial trends of 137 MCD seats where counting took place, BJP has won 103 seats, followed by AAP at 26 and Congress down to a dismal 8.

There are 272 seats in the three corporations of the MCD, and the Congress had won 77 seats in the 2012 MCD polls.

Soon after the results poured in, Congress’s Delhi president Ajay Maken offered to resign from his post, owning responsibility. “It is a reasonable revival of the Congress but I had hoped for something better than this. I had expected to perform a little better. So, as the president of Delhi Congress, I take moral responsibility and offer to resign from my post. I have decided to resign from my post," he told reporters.

In an indicator of the tussle within the party, Dikshit blamed the state leadership for the poor performance of the party int he Delhi MCD elections. “The party was not able to reach out (to voters) the way we should have. Any excuse can be given when you don’t want to do anything. The decision has to be taken by the high command. The leadership needs to introspect," she told reporters, adding that Maken failed to involve senior leaders, including her, in campaigning for the polls.

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A slew of exits in the run-up to the MCD polls added to Congress’s worries, including that of former state president Arvinder Singh Lovely who joined the BJP. Given that it is no longer even in the second spot, the Congress would now face an uphill task of rebuilding its state unit, rethinking its electoral strategy and effecting organisational changes.

PTI contributed to the story.

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