The Bharatiya Janata Party will go into the Municipal Corporation of Delhi elections, due early next year, on the issues of corruption and price rise, while at the same time urge the people to vote for the party that will provide them the blueprint for best delivery in the health and education sectors.
Elaborating the party's plans at an interaction of the media with Mayor Rajni Abbi, Leader of MCD House Subhash Arya and MCD Standing Committee chairperson Yogender Chandolia and Delhi BJP president Vijender Gupta said a survey conducted by the party through a private firm revealed that there was great resentment among the people on the twin issues of price rise and corruption.
Mr. Gupta claimed that due to the good performance of the BJP-led MCD, which has been awarded AA-rating by global rating agency Fitch Ratings Limited, the survey had revealed that support for the BJP in MCD was intact.
“The survey has given us 90 out of the 138 seats surveyed, with 36 going to the Congress. This is almost in the ratio with the last MCD polls when we had won 170 of the 272 wards.” The party expects to complete the survey of all the wards in October.
The Delhi BJP president said the party was not even thinking about the drubbing it got in the last Assembly or Lok Sabha polls. “This is a completely different scenario. This is an election which will also be a referendum of sorts. We are just focusing on getting the right candidates on the criteria of dynamism, performance, and ability to win and deliver.”
With the Delhi Government proposing the trifurcation of MCD, Mr. Gupta said the party had also prepared a list of prospective woman candidates from each ward, since under the proposal women will get 50 per cent reservation in the civic body. He said the party was against the idea of dividing the MCD as it would disturb the unified structure of Delhi.
Ms. Abbi said while a split of MCD was being discussed, the Union Home Ministry had raised the same objections as they had made before Home Minister P. Chidambaram. “The Lieutenant Governor also raised 22 queries,” she added. However, the party feels if there is a delay of another month in the split of MCD, then it would not happen as some time is also needed for inviting public objections.
The Mayor said the main objections to the split were about how will finances be arranged for areas that do not generate enough revenue on their own like Narela and Najafgarh zones; how the seniority of 1.30 lakh employees will be handled; about the pension of the staff and who will take the assets and liabilities of the existing corporation. “And what will be the policies if different parties come to power in the three smaller corporations?'' she said.
Mr. Arya chipped in saying the division will also lead to logistical problems as the sanitary landfill sites were spread across the city, and drains, roads and streetlights were in continuation. “Will you only clean a drain on the boundary of a corporation and not beyond?'' he said.
Mr. Gupta also alleged that the Delhi Government was systematically trying to take away all the powers from the MCD, but not improving the delivery of service. “They have taken the industrial areas, water, sewage, slums or rural development from us, but have not improved any of these. They have also deprived us of funds by retaining the money with them under various heads, or getting it spent through the MLAs. As for the Corporation, it has done well to increase its own revenue from about Rs. 2,800 crore to Rs 6,000 crore in the last four years.”