Hours after the Election Commission announced the schedule of the Delhi Assembly elections, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said the poll outcome would be decided on the basis of the work of the AAP government while BJP countered Kejriwal by saying his “lies” were exposed and people had seen his “real face”.
Elections to the Delhi Assembly will be held in a single phase on February 8 and results will be declared on February 11. The term of the 70-member House ends on February 22, 2020. Addressing a press conference, Kejriwal said AAP would run a positive campaign and won’t abuse anyone in the run-up to Assembly polls.
“People will give vote positively for the first time in the history of India. They will vote based on the work done in the city. Our campaign will be a positive one. I urge people to vote for us only if they think that we have worked for the city. Do not vote for us if you think we have not worked,” Kejriwal said.
Kejriwal further said the city’s administration was divided between BJP, which handles police, MCD, and DDA, and AAP, which handles education, health, PWD and Jal Board departments. “People of Delhi know they don’t want to make entire Delhi like MCD,” he said.
On Home Minister Amit Shah’s rally in the capital on Sunday, where the BJP chief accused Kejriwal of misleading the people on the Citizenship law, the Delhi CM said, “Whenever the Home Minister comes to Delhi, he only abuses me but does not point out any fallacies in our work done in health, education, and road construction sector. Inherently, he also believes in the positive work done by us.”
When asked whether the elections would be fought on national issues like CAA and Triple Talaq, Kejriwal said there was no doubt that the polls would be Delhi centric.
Talking to reporters, along with Delhi BJP president Manoj Tiwari, Delhi BJP Assembly poll in-charge Prakash Javadekar said the Delhi Assembly elections would be fought on the basis of performance and not “lies and hollow talks”.
“This is a matter of happiness that the results to the elections will be announced on Tuesday as we have a special bond with this day. BJP is known for taking care of the well being of the people hence nature is also giving us positive signals,” Delhi BJP chief Manoj Tiwari said.
यह बहुत खुशी की बात है कि दिल्ली चुनाव का परिणाम मंगलवार को आ रहा है और इस दिन से हम सभी का गहरा नाता है। भाजपा आमजन का मंगल करने के लिए ही जानी जाती है इसलिए प्रकृति भी हमें सकारात्मक संकेत दे रही है: श्री @ManojTiwariMP #DelhiWithBJP
— BJP Delhi (@BJP4Delhi) January 6, 2020
BJP MP Gautam Gambhir said, “We will try to make Delhi a better place to live in, where we can get better air quality and water, and also the better infrastructure for people of Delhi. Delhi will get a better government once BJP comes to power.”
With the election date announcement, the model code of conduct comes into effect immediately. In the 2015 elections, AAP recorded a massive win, bagging 67 of 70 seats, while BJP grabbed 3 seats. Congress failed to win a single seat. While the Arvind Kejriwal-led AAP garnered 54.3 per cent of the vote share, BJP’s share reduced by a one per cent from 2013 to 32.1 per cent.
The election will be a face-off between Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and Narendra Modi, with BJP unlikely to project a chief ministerial face and go into the elections under the banner of PM Modi.
Over the years, Kejriwal has changed his image of a street agitator to an able administrator, keeping the BJP on toes in the capital. AAP has matched BJP optics-for-optics, scheme-for-scheme, and has kept the focus on vikas. The BJP, additionally, is entering this election buffeted by a series of poll losses.
For AAP, which surprised even itself with the 67/70 seats endorsement last time, it is a chance to prove that wasn’t a fluke. Having been disappointed in its national ambitions since it is now focused only on Delhi. A repeat victory is its only re-launch pad.
The AAP government has sought to fulfill poll promises and made a string of announcements like free-bus rides for women, no electricity charges of up to 200 units, free WiFi, free pilgrimage for senior citizens and waiver of development charges for new water and sewer connections. The Arvind Kejriwal regime also took several steps towards women’s safety, including installation of three lakh CCTV cameras and two lakh street lights across the city, deployment of 13,000 bus marshals.
The BJP would look to base their election campaign based on national optics and the regularisation of unauthorised colonies. The state unit is also repeating its charge of lawlessness against the AAP government over the anti-Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) protests, calling the Battle for Delhi a battle between “nationalists” and “anarchists”.
At a rally on Sunday, BJP president Amit Shah asked party workers to reach out to Dalits, Sikhs, and refugees by holding door-to-door campaigns and tell them that “Modiji wants to give them citizenship but anti-Dalit Kejriwal and anti-Dalit Congress is opposing it”.
With ownership rights to residents of unauthorised colonies being the Delhi BJP’s main plank in the upcoming Assembly elections, the party has started putting up posters and banners of Prime Minister Narendra Modi across the 1,731 such colonies.
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