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Eye on MCD polls next year, BJP focuses on sanitation, seeks funds

Leaders discuss less-than-stellar performance in civic bypolls.

Written by Naveed Iqbal | New Delhi | Published: May 21, 2016 3:22:37 am

BJP leaders have gone into a huddle following the party’s third place showing in the recent civic bypolls. The discussions have focused on the need to revive its image and support at the grassroots level, ahead of the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) elections next year.

In the last year of the BJP’s ten-year stronghold on the civic bodies, the party is prioritising issues like sanitation, the basic function of municipal corporations, once again.

However, the MCD’s “vision” for Delhi’s development needed funds, BJP’s Delhi unit chief Satish Upadhyay told The Indian Express. The lack of funds has been a cause of strife between the BJP and AAP since the latter came to power last year.

“Delhi’s sanitation system, which is our top priority, needs an overhaul, but we need money for that. Hiring a tempo for one day costs Rs 2,000 in Delhi and given the volume of garbage in this city, we need a lot more,” said Upadhyay.

Accusing the AAP government of holding back funds, the BJP leader said this was “hurting the most marginalised sections of society” and the results were evident in the civic bypolls, in which the ruling party won only five out of 13 seats.

He also said that work in fields like health and education — welfare functions of the corporation which do not generate any revenue for the three civic bodies — were also in dire need of funds.

Meanwhile, Shailendra Singh, newly-elected chairman of South Delhi Municipal Corporation’s Standing Committee, said Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Swacch Bharat Abhiyaan will be implemented with renewed vigour by the MCD.

Singh said constructing toilets for women will be a priority for the corporation this year and maintenance work on existing public bathrooms will be done in the coming year.

“As many as 100 sites have already been identified and after a feasibility study, we will begin work on building toilets for women,” Singh said, soon after being elected chairperson Friday.

The MCD’s “new team” — mayors, deputy mayors and standing committee chairpersons — have been advised by the BJP to divert their funds towards sanitation work.

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