The issue of cow protection featured in the list of promises made by the BJP in its manifesto for the MCD polls. In the 28-page ‘Sankalp Patra’ or the ‘charter of commitment’, the party promised to work towards protecting cows if it is voted to power in the three municipal corporations.
It said it would provide adequate assistance to NGOs running Gaushalas (cow pens) in the city for fodder, treatment of diseases and cow protection, and also work towards popularising non-meat cow products. The BJP also promised to promote solar lights at slum clusters through ‘Surya Jyoti Yojna’.
However, the manifesto also included some promises that were made by BJP in the civic body polls in 2012. The party also made some promises which lie beyond the jurisdiction of the civic bodies, like providing ownership rights to e-rickshaw drivers.
Promises such as felicitation of intellectuals, social security cards for unorganised sector, Dhalo (garbage collection points) free city, workplan for ownership rights to e-rickshaw drivers, health cards to citizen were made in the 2012 MCD elections as well but remained unfulfilled.
Delhi BJP chief Manoj Tiwari said the Sankalp Patra highlights the need to increase pension of senior citizens, specially challenged and widows, but the civic bodies have huge dues of pensions accumulating due to non-payment for upto 3 years.
The promise of regularisation of the weekly market was made in 2012 as well but no steps were taken. The manifesto touched some contentious areas such as roads wider than 60 meters that the civic bodies maintained earlier but were taken over by the Delhi government’s PWD.
The BJP if voted back to corporations will seek centre’s help to regain those roads for “improved” maintenance, Tiwari said.
In view of the financial hardships faced by the civic bodies, party leader Sankalp Patra has called for direct transfer of funds bypassing the Delhi government.
On the issue of transfer of funds, the BJP had accused the AAP government of withholding funds while the later alleged “corruption and mismanagement” at the BJP-ruled corporations.
The BJP has tried to address the allegation of “corruption” by promising third party audit of all major projects of corporations.