Bypolls for five municipal wards will be held on 28 February; results will be declared on 3 March.
New Delhi: Ahead of the MCD bypolls, Congress, the Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) and Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) have declared their list of candidates. The Delhi Congress has repeated old faces for the upcoming MCD bypolls except on one seat where it has given a ticket to the son of a former party MLA. Interestingly, this will be the first test for President Anil Chaudhary. According to Congress, these by-elections will set the tone and tenor for the MCD general elections due in 2022.
Delhi Congress Vice-President Abhishek Dutt told The Sunday Guardian: “People of Delhi, especially after the lockdown, have seen the failure of both AAP and BJP. After the whole crisis of salary issue, people not working, pension not being given, no development happening especially in North and East Corporations. People miss the good work done by the Congress and they are looking forward to voting the Congress back. We have done the micro-surveys of the constituencies and we talked to the public and asked them their issues. The main feedback that is coming is that no MP and MLA has been present and even these councillors have disappeared.”
On BJP’s allegations of pending funds, Dutt said that both BJP and AAP are in power and if there is corruption, they should have lodged a case.
“These allegations are only there to divert people’s attention. If there is corruption, they should file a case with the anti-corruption bureau. Who is stopping the BJP to register a case? These are just tactics to deviate from the main issues. Very soon, people of Delhi are going to vote them out. Delhi is suffering because of this blame-game between BJP and AAP,” Dutt said.
Meanwhile, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) on Saturday announced the names of its candidates for the Delhi Municipal Corporations bypolls on three seats. On Monday, BJP declared its candidates for the MCD bypolls on five seats. Party leader Surbhi Jaju has been given a ticket from Shalimar Bagh; Rakesh Goel from Rohini C; Mohammad Nazir Ansari from Chauhan Bangar; Om Prakash Gugarwal from Trilokpuri East; and Siya Ram Kanojia from Kalyanpuri.
Naveen Kumar, Delhi BJP, Media Head, told The Sunday Guardian: “The Delhi government is not treating the corporation as well as the residents of Delhi and this is our major issue. BJP has chosen people from diverse backgrounds as their candidates, whereas AAP has given tickets to only corrupt people. AAP MLAs are not seen in their constituencies. But they blame MCDs all the time. Delhi government had not released the allotted funds and the people of Delhi faced issues because of that. Delhi Jal Board has done a ‘ghotala’ of Rs 26,000 core. AAP is campaigning across the country. There is no major development in Delhi. Congress is the oldest party and it has ruled for so many years. If they want to survive, they need to fight the election. Kejriwal came to power after unveiling the corruption of Sheila Dixit and he hasn’t done anything on it because they both are the same.”
Of these five seats, four fell vacant after the councillors won Assembly elections on AAP tickets. The Shalimar Bagh seat has been vacant since the death of sitting councillor Renu Jaju last year. Now, her daughter-in-law has got the ticket.
Delhi has 272 wards. While North and South MCDs have 104 municipal wards each, EDMC has 64 wards. Presently, BJP rules all three MCDs. Bypolls for five municipal wards—Kalyanpuri, Trilokpuri (under East Delhi Municipal Corporation), Chauhan Bangar, Rohini C and Shalimar Bagh (under North Delhi Municipal Corporation)—will be held on 28 February. Results of the bypolls will be declared on 3 March.