Municipal Corporation of Delhi elections, BJP manifesto
The BJP's manifesto, called the ‘Vachan Patr’, was unveiled by BJP’s Delhi unit president Adesh Gupta along with party MP Manoj Tiwari and other leaders. Pic: PTI

AAP, BJP bicker as saffron party makes big promises in MCD poll manifesto

When the Bharatiya Janata Party released its election manifesto for the upcoming Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) elections on Thursday (November 10), senior AAP leader Atishi Singh did not waste time rebutting each point in the document seeking answers from the saffron party about their promises made during the 2017 civic polls.

Back in 2017, the BJP’s promises included regularising sanitation workers, ₹10 lakh insurance cover for students studying in MCD schools and health cards for Delhi’s citizens, new  licences to hawkers and street vendors etc. Atishi also asked why the party refrained from presenting a report card on its performance in the last five years.

The BJP’s manifesto, called the ‘Vachan Patr’, was unveiled by BJP’s Delhi unit president Adesh Gupta along with party MP Manoj Tiwari and other leaders. Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal is also expected to launch the party’s 10 guarantees for the MCD polls later in the day.

Atishi Singh, at a presser held minutes after BJP unveiled its manifesto cited points from BJP’s 2017 manifesto and compared them with the promises made in the current manifesto. She provided five instances where the BJP had failed to fulfill its 2017 poll promises.

“If the BJP has not fulfilled any of its 2017 poll promises, how can the residents of Delhi trust them this time? Delhi residents have made up their mind to vote for Arvind Kejriwal in the upcoming polls,” asserted Atishi.

BJP’s big promises

The saffron party has made big promises to Delhi voters in the election manifesto, promising to provide houses to slum dwellers in Delhi, improve the civic amenities in the national capital, strengthen the civic body, check corruption, and ensure proper disposal of garbage etc. The party had even issued a WhatsApp number, 7827514514, to seek suggestions from the people.

But, even as a war of words broke out between the AAP and BJP over the national party’s manifesto, Adesh Gupta, in turn, slammed AAP’s promises made in 2015. Gupta said: “We will just like to remind them (AAP) about 2-3 guarantees they had promised to the people of Delhi. They said 11,000 public buses and 500 km of metro route will be given to Delhi. But where are those buses? Where has it gone? They also said they will combat pollution but the AQI is reaching 500-600.”

Also read: Delhi municipal election on December 4, results on December 7

BJP’s five major unfulfilled promises

Questioning BJP’s major unfulfilled promises, Atishi said, BJP should ask itself how it has performed over the years. “If they have actually lived up to their promises, then why have they not released a report card?” asked Atishi. She challenged the party on five key issues:

1) Nagar Nigam Fund – Atishi said BJP had promised to get funds directly from the Centre, but not even a single paise has been collected from the Centre.

2) Landfill sites – She also alleged that even as the BJP promised to flatten the garbage mountains in 2017, the MCD has come up with 16 new sites for landfills.

3) On imposition of new taxes – The BJP had promised that it won’t impose new taxes in 2017, but immediately after the unification of three civic bodies, it has imposed new taxes. BJP has increased property taxes collected by the MCD in order to loot more money, claimed the leader.

4) On MCD parks and roads: Berating MCD for its failure of the upkeep of roads and parks, she said that the people of Delhi are now used to such potholes and bumpy roads. Driving on Delhi streets is equivalent to a ride in the amusement park.

5) Waste disposal from one site to the other: Instead of applying a scientific approach to waste disposal and management, the BJP-controlled civic body has turned the entire city into a dumpyard. She smilingly added that people now refer to ‘garbage points’ as a landmark spot while giving directions.

Also read: Delhi L-G misusing powers, he should join politics and fight MCD polls: AAP leader Durgesh Pathak

The key poll plank for MCD 2022 polls: Housing for poor vs garbage mismanagement

Showcasing the success of its in-situ rehabilitation for slum residents, the BJP plans to highlight how the Modi-led central government has delivered on its “Jahan Jhuggi, Wahan Makan” promise. The allotment of flats to slum residents of Kalkaji Extension’s Bhoomiheen Camp by PM Narendra Modi will provide a fillip to the party’s prospects ahead of the civic polls, felt the BJP party.

On the other hand, the AAP government has made the issue of “garbage mismanagement” and “increasing height of landfills” as a core poll plank, before the December 4 fight. The party has also launched the “Koode Par Jansamvad” (dialogue on garbage from November 8-20) campaign, and all party legislators are  personally monitoring the situation across the city.

At the Ghazipur landfill site yesterday, Delhi Deputy CM Manish Sisodia said the “three garbage mountains” of Delhi will be cleared before the next civic polls if AAP comes to power.

The MCD polls for 250 wards are taking place for the first time after the fresh delimitation exercise. Polling for the municipal elections in Delhi will be held on December 4 and votes will be counted on December 7. The BJP has been in power in the MCD, which has been trifurcated in 2012 into north, south and east corporations and then unified this year for three straight terms.

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