WITH THE Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) deciding to contest the urban local body polls next month, its manifesto is likely to promise waiving pending dues and reducing house tax as well as bringing down the parking fee to half. The manifesto, to be released by the end of this month, is also set to promise free collection of municipal waste. The party has decided to focus on Varanasi, where AAP chief Arvind Kejriwal had lost to Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the Lok Sabha polls, and also Gorakhpur — the home district of Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath. It plans to send most number of party leaders and volunteers to campaign in these two places.
Local body elections will be held in 16 municipal corporations, 439 nagar panchayats and 198 nagar palika parishads. AAP is set to contest from all the 16 municipal corporations and some selected nagar panchayats and nagar palikas, where it has a strong organisational structure.
“Pending dues of house tax will be waived to give relief to the people… For houses of the same size and design, people have to pay varied amounts… the municipal staff take bribe for reducing the tax amount,” said AAP state spokesperson Vaibhav Maheshwari.
“The civic staff at parking lots misbehave with people… This could be ended by training them but this would be possible only when the tender process is transparent. These points will be elaborated in the manifesto,” he added while claiming that these promises could be fulfilled when AAP candidates are elected as mayor and corporators in majority of municipal corporations.
The other promises likely to find place in the manifesto are public toilets for women in all markets and major crossings, mohalla clinics and upgradation of municipal schools.
On the party’s focus on Varanasi, Maheshwari said: “While the Prime Minister is the MP from Varanasi… But Varanasi still lack cleanliness. This is because of corruption prevailing in the municipal system… AAP volunteers have collected information of anomalies in the system through RTI to expose corruption. The party will adopt a similar strategy for Lucknow too.”
On candidates, Maheshwari said while the first priority will be volunteers, those socially active and connected with the people would also be considered. “There will be no compromise on character and corruption,” he added.