Ahead of next year’s MCD elections, all three political parties in the capital have kicked off the first leg of their campaign with specific focus points — AAP will zero in on “corruption” in the MCD and the need for a change in leadership, BJP is wooing slum dwellers with Central schemes, while the Congress is highlighting “inefficiencies” in both the BJP-led MCD and AAP-led Delhi government.
The AAP blew the poll bugle on Saturday with the ‘MCD Badlaav’ campaign, which seeks to reach voters in every nook and corner of the national capital.
AAP Minister Gopal Rai, while launching the campaign on Saturday, said: “AAP will go to every corner of Delhi and let people know that just the way they chose Arvind Kejriwal to eradicate corruption from the Delhi government, the time has now come for the MCD.”
The campaign is also designed to highlight work done by the Delhi government under Kejriwal in education, healthcare and other sectors, and exhort the people to vote for the AAP to bring the party at the helm of affairs at the municipal corporations.
Rai also targeted the BJP on the issue of alleged corruption in civic bodies and said the party has given two gifts to the people of Delhi during its 15 years — “three garbage mountains and extortion in every lane” of the city.
The BJP, meanwhile, is focussing on work done by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and schemes of the Centre while accusing the AAP of failing to control pollution and unfairly blaming the Centre for the MCDs’ financial crisis. Its main focus is on residents of JJ colonies, unauthorised colonies and villages.
The BJP last week concluded its ‘Jhuggi Samman Yatra’ during which LPG gas connections were given under the Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana and registration slips were handed out under the Sukanya Samriddhi Yojana to slum dwellers. Delhi BJP spokesperson Praveen Shankar Kapoor said the next campaign would be designed around villages and unauthorised colonies.
Senior party leaders said they kicked off the poll campaign with jhuggis as the section had largely backed AAP during the previous Assembly polls.
Delhi has roughly 30 lakh people living in 675 slum clusters. A large chunk of slum dwellers were traditional Congress voters but switched to AAP in the 2013 and 2015 Assembly polls in large numbers. The BJP wants to make a dent in this vote bank, said a senior leader.
The Congress too had launched a one-and-a-half month ‘Pol Khol Yatra’ in October to “expose” the Delhi government as well as BJP-ruled MCDs.
“During the yatra, the Congress leadership has gone to all 272 municipal wards to expose the BJP’s corruption and mismanagement in MCDs leading to salary delays, and the AAP-led Delhi government over pollution, poor transport and other infrastructure issues in the city,” Delhi Congress vice-president Abhishek Dutt said.
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