Despite little indication of when fresh elections will be called in Delhi, the Aam Aadmi Party’s 27 MLAs have been ploughing ahead with mohalla sabhas and other contact programmes, as part of their poll preparations.
AAP leaders said it is of prime importance that the people of a constituency identify with their legislator and it has been conveyed to area MLAs that they must record grievances and work towards a solution.
Leaders said that during the mohalla sabha campaigns, issues of sewerage, water and power have been utmost in concerns relayed to them by residents.
Madan Lal, MLA from Kasturba Nagar, said, “In our constituency, people can approach the AAP office any time to tell us their grievances. Thus far, especially from the large Kotla Mubarakpur area, the primary complaint has been of overflowing sewers and poor garbage disposal. There are many small lanes where the stench is unbearable and I and other volunteers have visited these sites after receiving complaints.”
Leaders said an emphasis is also being laid on these ‘contact programmes’ after AAP national convener Arvind Kejriwal announced that the MLA Development Funds would be spent based on complaints.
“This is an excellent system because it forces people to reach out to the MLA and attend meetings if he wants a solution and we then become accountable,” Lal said.
In the 27 seats that the AAP governs, while there are several area-specific issues, most MLAs that Newsline spoke to said apart from sewerage, water and power are a problem across the board.
“Water is a problem across the area, especially access to drinking water. Once a complaint is heard by us, we meet civic officials to thrash out a plan, make estimated costs and then begin the process to spend the MLA Development Funds,” former minister and Madipur MLA Girish Soni said.
Leaders also said they expect the contact programmes to pay them political dividends.
“Whenever elections are called, our party will be battle-ready and continue to be popular. This is because those in constituencies governed by the AAP have not seen MLAs visiting them so often and so much work, even on a small scale, being conducted. Perhaps, our biggest lesson in the Lok Sabha results was that the citizens of Delhi were angry with our decision to quit the government and only care about an administration that shows it is willing to work according to their demands,” a senior leader said.