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MCD elections a month away, AAP, BJP and Congress begin strengthening their cadre base

The AAP has started a ‘booth samvaad yatra’ to hold dialogues with people at 13,000 booths. Durgesh Pathak, AAP’s MCD in-charge, said that through this, the party is reaching out to old and new party members and chalking out a plan to defeat the BJP.

Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia and AAP convenor Gopal Rai during the launch of the party’s campaign for MCD election in New Delhi on Saturday. (Express Photo by Praveen Khanna)

With the municipal corporation elections nearing, the AAP, BJP and Congress have started recharging their cadre and volunteers to strengthen their organisation.

The AAP has started a ‘booth samvaad yatra’ to hold dialogues with people at 13,000 booths. Durgesh Pathak, AAP’s MCD in-charge, said that through this, the party is reaching out to old and new party members and chalking out a plan to defeat the BJP. The campaign will conclude on March 10. Following this, AAP’s top leaders and MLAs will take out ‘MCD Badlaav Yatras’ in all 70 constituencies on March 12 and 13.

A 20-member committee is also being formed at each booth to accomplish the ‘Booth Vijay’ initiative, said Pathak. He said the committees will comprise of active party members who are willing to volunteer their time until the next MCD elections.

The BJP, meanwhile, said it is confident of its cadre base and strength and it had completed the exercise of appointing booth-level workers four months before the polls.

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Harsh Malhotra, general secretary of the state unit, said there are 13,820 booths in the BJP and the party has deputed a 21-member team in each booth. “These details are digitally available with phone numbers so that immediate contact can be established with them whenever needed,” he said.

Malhotra said that big rallies, along with protests against the AAP government’s liquor policy, would be organised in the coming days in which the cadre would play an active role.

The Congress has also planned a digital membership campaign at the district level for which it has started holding meetings, starting from Karawal Nagar, to prepare the party for the MCD elections, said DPCC president Anil Kumar.

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He said the party has achieved success as 1.5 lakh digital members were enrolled within a short span, with over 11,000 becoming as enrollers. He said there are around 13,000 polling booths in the capital, and the Delhi Congress will appoint enrollers at every booth to add maximum number of digital polling booth workers. He said all details of digital members will be put on the Congress website.

The elections for the three MCDs are scheduled for April. The BJP had swept the 2017 polls, winning 181 out of 270 wards and an absolute majority in each corporation. The AAP had come a distant second with 48 seats while the Congress, which won 30 seats, made significant gains compared to the 2015 Assembly polls, when it drew a blank.

This time, the BJP faces a stiff challenge with anti-incumbency building up after 15 years of rule and allegations of corruption, mismanagement and constant salary delays to civic body employees.

First published on: 06-03-2022 at 19:04 IST
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