NEW DELHI: The BJP is “well-prepared” for the upcoming civic polls in Delhi and will register a “comfortable victory,” former mayors of the city from the party have claimed.
Many senior BJP leaders who have served as mayors in the erstwhile three municipal corporations — NDMC, SDMC, and EDMC — have exuded confidence that the party will win over 150 wards in the high-stakes polls that is 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 2022 municipal polls is largely being seen as a three-way contest between the BJP, the Aam Aadmi Party and the Congress, but the former mayors of the corporations, belonging to the BJP, claim, the party “will rout all opposition” to return to power.
The BJP has been in power in the Municipal Corporation Delhi (MCD) — trifurcated in 2012 and then unified this year — for three straight terms.
Veteran BJP leader and former South Delhi mayor Subhash Arya, who has served as a leader of the House and as a Leader of the Opposition during the period of the unified MCD, said, “The reduction of wards from 272 to 250 will only benefit the BJP”.
“Our party will win 150-200 seats, and register a comfortable victory in the polls. The work done by the three corporations till their merger earlier this year, will translate into votes. Both AAP and Congress will lose,” he said.
Arya, 78, when asked if the landfill issue will weigh heavy in the polls, said, “The AAP is making it an issue. Corruption and development will be the poll issues”.
The AAP is setting to turn the landfill sites’ issues into a major poll plank, and Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal had even said that this time Delhi will chose a party that will clean Delhi over the one that has created “mountains of garbage” in the national capital.
Stepping up the heat, Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia on Wednesday alleged that the BJP-led MCD has taken out garbage from the Ghazipur landfill site and dumped it in nearby areas to “give an impression” that its height has come down.
Interacting with reporters after visiting the Ghazipur landfill site in east Delhi, he also said the people will vote for the AAP in the upcoming municipal polls to clear the “garbage of the BJP”, and if the Arvind Kejriwal-led party comes to power in the MCD, it will make the “mountains” of trash disappear from the city in five years.
Former South Delhi mayor Mukesh Suryan exuded confidence and said “The BJP will win this civic poll comfortably”.
“Our preparations are in full swing, and we will win at least 150 seats in the polls. The AAP is trying to bring landfill issues to divert the attention of people, but we are confident of our performance,” he claimed.
Former mayors of the erstwhile NDMC and EDMC echoed Arya and Suryan, and said the BJP was set for an “easy victory” by virtue of its preparations and ground work.
Former mayor of North Delhi, Jai Prakash said, “BJP-led MCD has been working on sanitation issues, from door-to-door collection of garbage to reducing heights of the three landfill sites, besides the long-term plan for overall remediation of the three (landfill) sites. People have seen that, so they will vote for it”.
Delhi has three landfill sites located at Bhalaswa, Okhla and Ghazipur.
He alleged that AAP-led Delhi government has not given funds to the MCD, and has “shirked away” from its responsibility for municipal waste management.
Prakash also asked why did the National Green Tribunal direct the Delhi government to pay Rs 900 crore as environmental compensation.
Observing that “citizens cannot be faced with an emergency situation due to lack of governance”, the NGT in October had directed the Delhi government to pay Rs 900 crore as environmental compensation for improper management of solid municipal waste.
Former East Delhi mayor Naveen Jain claimed that “in last five to six years, the height of the Ghazipur landfill site has been brought down by 50-60 ft, and efforts are on to further reduce it”.
“But, we feel, the major poll issue will be the AAP government’s excise policy and other issues related to governance,” he said.
This will be the first civic election after the fresh delimitation exercise, and the much-awaited poll will be held in the gap between the two phases of the Gujarat assembly elections, which will take place on December 1 and 5.
Soon after the announcement of the date, both the BJP and the AAP exuded confidence that they would emerge victorious.
The Delhi Congress asserted that it has been preparing the ground work for the MCD elections for the past one year.
AAP supremo Kejriwal has accused the BJP of creating mountains of garbage in the city during their nearly 15-year rule in the civic bodies.
In the civic election in 2017, the BJP had won 181 of the 270 wards. No polling could be held on two seats due to death of candidates. The AAP had won 48 wards and the Congress 27.
Source: Press Trust of India