February 1, 2021 2:13:52 am
BJP, AAP and Congress have begun preparations to contest bypolls in five municipal wards. The election, to be held on February 28, is being touted as a “semi-final” to the 2022 civic polls. It will be held for two wards under North MCD — Rohini, Shalimar Bagh — and three under the East MCD — Trilokpuri, Kalyanpuri and Chauhan Bangar. The last date for filing nominations is February 8.
Of these five seats, four fell vacant after the councillors won assembly elections on AAP tickets. The Shalimar Bagh seat has been vacant since the death of BJP’s Renu Jaju last year. BJP has been in power in the MCDs since 2012.
While the BJP will focus on its organisational skills and work done by the corporations during the Covid crisis, the AAP will highlight CM Arvind Kejriwal’s model of governance.
Delhi BJP chief Adesh Gupta said he would hold meetings at the booth level: “The way BJP leaders, workers and corporations helped people in times of Covid would be highlighted.” The party has begun micro-management exercises, said head of BJP’s media department Naveen Kumar, as part of which the state organisation has been tasked with ensuring each worker gets support from around 21 houses.
AAP MCD in-charge Durgesh Pathak said the party has already started a door-to-door campaign to tell people that MCDs have failed to fulfill their main job, which is sanitation: “Landfills are a prime example of how BJP has not been able to clean Delhi’s waste in the last 15 years.” He said the plan is to reach every household in these wards and ask them to compare Kejriwal’s model of governance with that of the BJP’s governance in MCDs.
Delhi Congress vice-president Abhishek Dutt said, “People know that BJP and AAP, in their fight, have worsened the finances of MCDs, affecting civic services. AAP doesn’t release money to weaken the MCD, while BJP has no model or vision through which it can earn more money and ensure services.”
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