The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) will fight bypolls in five municipal wards of Delhi municipal corporations (MCDs), attacking the BJP on two key issues.
AAP will try to convince voters that the BJP weakened Delhi's civic agencies financially despite being in power in all three MCDs for past 15 years. AAP will also corner the BJP over its failure in managing the city's civic issues.
The Delhi State Election Commission has on Wednesday announced MCD bypolls in five municipal wards – Rohini C and Shalimar Bagh of North MCD and Trilokpuri, Kalyanpuri and Chauhan Bangar of East MCD on February 28. Results of bypolls will be declared on March 3.
AAP in-charge for MCD bypolls Durgesh Pathak told IANS that the party has prepared itself to counter BJP in each poll-bound municipal ward. Several teams of party workers have been deployed with several tasks, such as, meeting people and getting their views about BJP's 15-year rule in MCDs.
Pathak said, "We are prepared to fight by-polls. Several teams have been set up with different tasks for each. AAP workers will reach at every door and will tell the people presenting facts that how the city's municipal bodies have been financially weakened during BJP rule. We are taking the BJP as the main opposition as people of Delhi have rejected the Congress."
In fact, the AAP had strategically started preparations for municipal bypolls from the first week of 2021 through organising Mohalla meetings across the municipal wards in the city. Arvind Kejriwal-led AAP had started organising meetings and within a period of two weeks the party had organised around 2,500 meetings in all municipal wards in Delhi even before the dates for bypolls were announced.
Pathak said, "In the last 15 years, the BJP has transformed the MCDs into a den of corruption and made them completely bankrupt. Due to the rampant corruption of the BJP today the MCDs have no money to pay the salaries of their own employees. Residents of the national capital are fed up with the corruption and they have made up their mind to give a strong response to the BJP."
AAP leaders had earlier already announced that through these mohalla meetings, the party will tell people of each municipal ward of the city about financial mismanagement in MCDs in the last 15 years. The party has appointed nearly 600 speakers to address these mohalla meetings.
However, when asked, has the party finalised candidates for these five poll-bound municipal wards, Pathak replied, "We are in the process of finalising the names of candidates and it will be announced soon."
Out of these five poll-bound municipal wards, four wards had been vacant since last year after the councillors had been elected to the Delhi Assembly. AAP had won in all four municipal wards (Rohini C, Trilokpuri, Kalyanpuri and Chauhan Bangar). Whereas, Shalimar Bagh ward has been vacant since the death of Renu Jaju, who had won the seat on a BJP ticket.
In the last Delhi civic polls held in 2017, the BJP had won 181 seats, AAP was at second position with 49 seats, while the Congress had secured 31 seats. The elections for all 272 MCD seats in the capital will take place in 2022.