MCD election campaign ends, all eyes set for polling day

New Delhi :  The National Capital is all set to cast their vote for civic polls on Sunday, and the campaign for the high profile MCD election end on Friday, with top campaigners including Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, Union Ministers like Piyush Goyal and Hardeep Puri reaching out to voters in full swing through public meeting and roadshows. The voting for 250 wards of the Municipal Corporation of Delhi polls will be held on December 4 and counting will take place on December 7.

Both Bharatiya Janata Party and Aam Aadmi Party and other parties have locked their horn to win the MCD election, in which Aam Aadmi Party is trying to woe the voters over its performance since coming to power in Delhi, whereas the BJP attacked AAP party chief for patronising rioter and the corrupts.

A number of 1,461 candidates are contesting in the civic polls, out of which 674 men and 742 women got validation from the State Election Commission (SEC). The main issues in the polls are long-standing problem of vehicle parking, health facilities, sanitation, encroachment, and repairing of streets, etc.

On the last day of the campaigning, Union Minister Hardeep Singh Puring alleged that the Arvind Kejriwal government in Delhi has established a “standard of corruption” that is higher in “leaps and bounds” than that during the earlier Congress regime, and it is thriving on politics of “chaos and freebies”. The BJP party’s top leaders wrapped up compaigning for the civic polls with over 250 vijay sankalp roadshows across the city.

Campaigning for the party in west Delhi, Thakur accused chief minister Arvind Kejriwal’s government of “blatant corruption”. “Earlier Kejriwal was known for U-turns, now he is known for doing politics of lies and deceit. Today, Arvind Kejriwal’s identity is hardcore corruption. By giving protection to the corrupt, Kejriwal has looted Delhi and is now eager to loot MCD.”

Referring to Kejriwal’s promise to empower resident welfare associations, Thakur said that the Aam Aadmi Party-led Delhi government has neither given funds to MCD, nor paid professors of 12 colleges affiliated to the Delhi University. “From where will they give money to the RWAs?” the minister questioned. He also accused the Delhi government of failing to curb air pollution and clean the Yamuna river.

The AAP conducted more than 14,862 public meetings, including  jansamvaads, nukkad sabhas, door-to-door campaign, padyatras, nukkad nataks, dance for democracy, magic shows, to reach out to voters.  However, AAP party chief campaighend door to door in Chirag Dilli village, CM Arvind Kejriwal held a roadshow in North Delhi’s Malkaganj ahead of the MCD elections.

Attacking the BJP for its campaign, which has seen several Union ministers and state Chief Ministers in attendance, Kejriwal said the BJP’s show of strength indicated its “inefficiency” and “lack of work” in the MCD over the past 15 years.

“The BJP got multiple CMs and ministers to campaign for them in the civic body polls because they did not do anything in the MCD in the last 15 years. When they are asked what work you have done, they only have one excuse: Kejriwal does not give funds… BJP has deployed seven CMs, one deputy CM and 17 Cabinet Ministers to fight against an aam aadmi like me,” he said.

“It pains my heart to see Delhi engulfed by garbage. Despite being CM, I have no power to clean garbage because the MCD is under BJP. Delhiites gave us the responsibility of schools, hospitals, electricity, and water, we fixed everything and provided free healthcare and electricity to everyone. The public gave BJP one job, they had to look after garbage but even in 15 years they could not clean Delhi,” Kejriwal said.

“The public gave us the job of fixing schools and hospitals, the result is in front of you; now give us the chance to fix garbage management,” he added.

Accusing the BJP-led Centre of not giving Delhi any money, Kejriwal said they had worked despite the odds. “The central government refuses to pay Delhi its rightful share of funds. We practically get nothing from the Centre all year. Do you see me crying, yelling and howling on the streets like them? Despite all the challenges and hurdles, we give electricity, water, education, healthcare, pilgrimage for the elderly and bus travel for women completely free of cost. We built schools, mohalla clinics, hospitals, transformed the whole system of Delhi, we did not cry for funds like them,” he said.

The Congress also conducted roadshows, padayatra, and public meetings in 247 wards across the national Capital, with all the star players including State president Anil Kumar, Former MP Ajoy Kumar, Krishna Tirath, Udit Raj, Ramesh Kumar, and Subhash Chopra on the field campaigning for the party.

“Large workforces of election functionaries and security agencies have put humongous efforts to make necessary preparations for conducting elections at 13,638 polling stations spread across Delhi. 68 Model Polling Stations and 68 Pink Polling Stations have been established for the quality experience of the voters. Adequate arrangements for the deployment of forces have been done,” said an official.

This will be the first municipal election in the national capital after the delimitation of wards. Both the BJP and the AAP have fielded 250 candidates, while the Congress will contest only 247 seats.