Bypolls for 13 municipal wards in Delhi to be held on May 15
Jasleen Kaur | May 13, 2016 | New Delhi
Arvind Kejriwal led-Aam Aadmi Party [AAP], which is contesting the municipal elections for the first time, is all set to give a stiff challenge to the BJP and the Congress in the Delhi civic bypolls.
The municipal corporation bypolls will be a challenge for all. In a bid to test the waters before the MCD elections next year, the AAP, BJP and Congress are working hard to register their presence.
For the AAP, it will be a test to see the impact of their experiment in participatory governance. While promoting local governance in all the assembly constituencies this year, AAP is making inroads into municipal wards across the city.
AAP state chief Dilip Pandey told Governance Now that there is no reason why someone else should be trusted. He said, “There is a lot of anti-incumbency against BJP. People are not happy with the current administration. There has been no solution to problems of garbage, cleanliness and pensions.”
He said people are aware about how all the three corporations were questioned by the high court on sanitation issue in the city. “People have to go to different agencies for their work. If they choose an AAP councilor, it will be easier for them to get work done. Also, their experience with the Delhi government has been good. All their promises have been fulfilled. They have a chance to experiment with us.”
The BJP heads all the three municipal corporations. It will be a test of their performance in the last four years and their political fate in the municipal elections in all the 272 wards will be decided next year. In various media reports BJP state unit chief Satish Upadhyay has exuded confidence in gaining at least five of 13 wards, calling them traditionally BJP seats.
For the Congress, which was completely wiped out in the 2015 state assembly elections, it is a chance to regain the trust of their voters. Accusing the BJP and the AAP of having failed on fulfillment of their promises, Delhi Congress state unit chief Ajay Maken is confident about his party’s performance in the municipal corporation bypolls. He also said internal party surveys have been encouraging.
Maken told Governance Now that both the parties have failed to deliver on promises like free Wi-Fi, safety of women, electricity and power, price rise and corruption among others. “They have failed to perform. People have got very small benefit. Also, the amount of money spent on advertisement by AAP government is irking people,” he said. “Most of the answering has to be done by them. They have to fight anti-incumbency. Congress is at a strong position,” Maken said.
Maken also said that the party is not contesting elections with not just the specific problems of the 13 wards, but with a larger message for both the state as well as municipal corporation. He also criticised AAP’s experiment in participatory governance. “The idea was to take public opinion on each and every policy decision. But did they consult public before salary hike of MLAs?” he asked. He added that there is a strong reaction among people on this.
Of the 13 wards where bypolls will be held on May 15, seven wards including Nawada, Munirka fall under the jurisdiction of south Delhi municipal corporation, four wards including Ballimaran and Wazirpur fall under the north Delhi municipal corporation and two in east Delhi municipal corporation. While the Munirka ward will be contested by women candidates, the rest are general wards.
Delhi MCD elections for all the 272 seats are scheduled in 2017.
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