The bypolls in 13 municipal wards Sunday will be crucial for the three main political parties in the fray — BJP, AAP and Congress. While BJP leaders have called it a “trailer for municipal polls”, scheduled to be held next year, AAP leaders have said they are testing the waters and experimenting with the unknown. Meanwhile, the Congress is fighting for its existence in the capital and in the minds of people.
All parties have said they have finished at least two rounds of door-to-door campaigning to reach out to the voters.
BJP’s Delhi unit president Satish Upadhyay claimed the party was confident about winning majority of the seats. “We have used people-to-people contact in these seats. We have focused on our achievements in municipal corporations and exposed AAP and their fake promises. We told people how they are playing with the future of temporary employees and blocking our funds, which led to strikes by safai karamcharis,” he said.
However, Delhi Congress chief Ajay Maken claimed the residents of these wards were “disappointed” by both the Congress and the BJP.
“We have never won in any of these seats in either the 2007 or the 2012 polls. This time, we have conducted three rounds of door-to-door campaigning and found people are comparing Congress’ rule with the BJP’s rule at the Centre and AAP’s rule in Delhi. Both have disappointed people,” said Maken.
The Congress leader said the party’s performance in the last assembly polls, when it failed to win a single seat, will not affect the outcome of the municipal bypolls. “The 2015 elections were an extension of people’s sentiment of the 2013 elections. Now they have seen AAP’s fake promises and the chaos in the city. The people are also unhappy with the BJP,” he said.
Meanwhile, AAP leader Dilip Pandey said the bypolls will help the party understand where it stands vis-a-vis local elections. “This is the first time we will contest at the local ward level. It’s an experiment for us too. The issues are different and so is the method of communicating with people. Here, door-to-door campaigning will ensure victory,” he said.
AAP alleges pension scam in MCDs
The AAP Saturday claimed that a pension scam worth hundreds of crores per year has been going on in the BJP-led municipal corporations for nearly a decade. Referring to an order by the Central Information Commission, AAP claimed that “shocking details about massive irregularities in pension schemes… have come to light”. The party claimed the three corporations were spending up to Rs 244 crore per annum in pensions, but there was no record about the spending. “If the scam has been going on for 10 years, that amounts to nearly Rs 2,500 crore of public money,” said AAP leader Dilip Pandey.