Migrant Woes For Congress
Narendra Modi has been riding a wave since he was named chairman of the BJP’s election campaign committee and the party’s prime ministerial candidate. It will be somewhat more difficult to prove whether he is also BJP’s winning mascot. Among Delhi, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh, which will go to polls later this year, Modi’s biggest test will be to upset the Congress government of Sheila Dikshit in Delhi. That will show whether the Modi magic really works. Pre-poll surveys have added fuel to the fire. Some surveys are projecting that Sheila Dikshit will form the government for the fourth consecutive term, while some others are projecting the possibility of a hung assembly. Aam Aadmi Party is being seen as the trouble-maker for both the sides. Some pre-poll surveys boost BJP claims on Delhi. A recent survey by ABP-Neilson has shown that the BJP is strong in Delhi. According to the survey, the BJP will get 32 seats, the Congress 27, AAP 8 and others will get 3 seats. Out of 70 constituencies in Delhi, this survey was conducted on 35 seats. In the survey, 26 per cent people voted for Vijay Goel as Chief Minister, 24 per cent for Arvind Kejriwal and 22 per cent for Sheila Dikshit. Arvind Kejriwal has rejected the claims made by these surveys and claimed that a survey conducted by top psephologist Yogendra Yadav indicated a whopping 32 per cent vote share going to AAP, 24 per cent to the Congress and 23 per cent to the BJP.
“AAP WILL RECEIVE 55 PER CENT VOTES”— Manish Sisodia
“Corruption is the main issue in Delhi elections. Both the Congress and the BJP are neck deep in corruption and the people of Delhi want change in the system,” said Patpadganj constituency candidate of
Aam Aadmi Party(AAP), Manish Sisodia, in an interview to Sudhir Gahlot. Excerpts:
What will be the impact of AAP in the forthcoming Delhi election?
AAP will form the government in Delhi after the election. All surveys point towards this. In Delhi, 37 per cent voters are annoyed with the Congress and 29 per cent voters with the BJP. This will automatically benefit AAP. Also, new voters will vote for AAP only. Presence of youths in our movement is proof of this fact.
What are AAP’s election issues?
Our election issue is eradication of corruption. Every problem of this country is due to corruption only. Corruption leads to inflation, unemployment, rape in the country, etc. This is the reason we have to eradicate corruption from this country.
BJP alleges that AAP is a Congress sponsored…
AAP will eat into the votes of both the Congress and the BJP, and these votes will go to AAP only. In the election, AAP will receive 55 per cent votes, of which 25 per cent will be new voters. People of Delhi are upset with both parties; they have only AAP as an option.
Arvind Kejriwal accused Sheila Dikshit of corruption, but AAP has failed to maintain this issue.
We don’t forget any issue, only journalists forget the issue. We raised this issue and started a movement for the same, but we were not heard. That’s why we started a political party. We don’t expect any solution from those sitting in Parliament and Legislative Assemblies.
Who is the chief ministerial candidate of AAP?
Who will you support in the forthcoming general elections? Will you go towards the
We will sit in opposition. We will not support anyone. Both the Congress and the BJP are corrupt. In fact, every other party is corrupt. The Samajwadi Party calls the Congress corrupt and vice versa. But the central government is running on the SP support. They are all in collusion in this game of corruption. This is the situation of all other parties. All are corrupt.
There is an issue of Muslim appeasement. What is your take on this issue?
Today, in India, politics of divide and rule is going on. A policy of divide people and indulge in corruption is going on in this country. It is not the issue of divide and rule, but to divide and do corruption. People should stand against this. In this country, everyone, Hindu, Muslim, Sikh and Christian, should work together for a peaceful country.
The Sheila government is rigid over the issue of e-rickshaws, whereas AAP has come in support of them. Is it just for election or will it be taken up after election is over?
For living, people depend on many kinds of professions. Likewise, e-rickshaw drivers are also trying to make a living. But, the Sheila government has no concrete policies for these people. From MCD to police, everybody tries to vex these people. If the Aam Aadmi Party comes to power, it will make policies for the people of lower strata.
Increasing JJ clusters are a constant problem for Delhi. Does AAP have any policy in this regard?
Delhi is for everyone, who lives here. This metropolitan city is not meant only for the rich people, but it is also for those, who work in factories. We need to have a special planning for these people, so that these vendors can live in Delhi.
Violence and rape are on the rise in Delhi. Increasing role of juveniles in cases of rapes is also on the rise. What is the solution for this problem?
Delhi government is very inefficient. It can’t provide security to the women of the metropolitan. Besides the issue of juveniles, there are several other issues in this country that need to be debated openly and profoundly. From the death of children in Bihar due to mid-day meal to beheading of our soldiers on the border, there are several issues to be dealt with. These issues can’t be decided by Sonia or Modi alone. We need to have an opinion of the common man.
With Aam Aadmi Party coming into the poll fray, Delhi election has assumed an interesting scene. But the political pundits are of the view that Arvind Kejriwal will not be of importance in the election. The BJP alleges that AAP is a Congress-sponsored outfit to cut in the votes of BJP and make way for the fourth consecutive term of the Congress in Delhi. But, what is more interesting to see is that AAP is leaving no stone unturned to cash in on the feud between both national parties. To prove that his party is meant for the common man, Arvind Kejriwal is giving tickets to people of all sections of society—from students to auto-rickshaw drivers. By appealing to people not to give their electricity bills, Kejriwal has attempted to get people’s sympathy.
Role of the migrant population
Delhi has always been a melting pot—people from across the country come here to study or to work. But in the past decade, there appears to have been a change in the demography of Delhi. Uttar Pradesh continues to be the state from where the largest share of migrants comes to Delhi—about 47 per cent, three per cent up from about 43 per cent in 2001. Migrants from Bihar have shot up to 31 per cent in 2013—a rise of 14 per cent over 2001, according to a survey. All the parties are trying to get the support of this huge population. While the Congress is having a tough time in garnering their support, the BJP is wooing this section by conducting padyatras. The Congress Chief Minister has time and again blamed the influx of migrants for the woes of the capital. This has put the Congress on a sticky wicket. Both the SP and the BSP are trying to cash in on the negative sentiment of people towards the Congress.
Role of JJ clusters
As a result of unplanned growth and encroachments, patronised by politicians, over 55 per cent of Delhi’s population (over one crore) is estimated to live in 1,218 unauthorised colonies, 45 Jhuggi Jhopri (JJ) clusters and 685 slums. While 352 slums have mushroomed on the DDA land, the rest have come up on land owned by the Delhi government, railways, MCD, NDMC, CPWD and the Delhi Cantonment Board. There are many assembly constituencies in Delhi, where these unauthorised JJ clusters can make or mar the fortunes of contestants. This was the reason behind the recent regularisation of 895 unauthorised colonies and giving ownership rights to the residents of 45 resettlement colonies.
MODI FACTOR IN DELHI ELECTIONS
The landslide performance of Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) in the Delhi University Student Union (DUSU) election seems to have boosted the ambitions of Delhi BJP of winning the coming election. ABVP wrested control of DUSU from the Congress-affiliated National Student Union of India (NSUI), winning three out of the four top posts. Significantly, the poll results came just a day after the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) formally declared Narendra Modi its prime ministerial candidate amid stiff opposition from his mentor and stalwart of the party, LK Advani. BJP leaders are in upbeat mood in Delhi, viewing these results as a dress-rehearsal to the forthcoming Delhi Assembly election.
Congress party rejected the claim of Narendra Modi impact on DUSU election. It pointed to NSUI’s victory in student bodies’ elections in Gujarat and Punjab. “If they are saying that ABVP’s victory in DUSU this year is a sign of Modi impact and this indicates the BJP will also win assembly and Lok Sabha elections in Delhi, then the BJP should be ready to pack up from Gujarat and Punjab where Congress’ student wing NSUI won university and college elections recently,” party general secretary Shakeel Ahmed told media persons, when asked about the BJP’s drooling over Modi.
“#NSUI Clean sweeps all seats at #SRCC (Sri Ram College of Commerce) on the day of NaMo being declared BJP’s PM Candidate. Namo started his campaign from SRCC (referring to Modi’ youth conference in SRCC on February 6, 2013), seems he’s ineffective,” reads a statement from the Congress official Twitter account.
Rhetoric aside, every party is clamouring for people’s support, and along with these three parties, the SP and the BSP are also vying to get a foothold in Delhi. The SP has declared that it will contest on all 70 seats in Delhi. It is banking on the migrant population from Uttar Pradesh in Delhi. Likewise, the BSP has also decided to contest on all 70 seats in Delhi. The BSP is also banking on the migrant population from Uttar Pradesh. (NK)
Unfortunately, for the Congress, the same clusters that it assiduously promoted over the years have today become bastions of Aam Aadmi Party. The residents of these clusters are the ones who have been hit the hardest by galloping prices and crying foul over the hike in power and water tariffs. Arvind Kejriwal, who has spoken on every issue related to these problems, has been making connect with the residents of these unauthorised JJ clusters.
The BJP, who always have the support of middle and affluent classes, this time, has shifted its focus on these clusters. The party is focusing specially on JJ clusters, unauthorised colonies and middle and lower income groups. The party has held public meetings in almost all 70 assembly constituencies gathering huge support. Special awareness campaigns are being run by all 14 districts and 280 mandals of the party. The party announced at a recent rally in Talkatora Stadium that it will give every family living in JJ clusters a flat when it comes to power. These flats will be developed through the public-private partnership model on the same plots where the slums exist. While addressing the function, Delhi party president said: “In JJ clusters, electricity will be supplied through a single-point connection. Toilet blocks will be constructed. There will be uninterrupted supply of clean water, and a ration card will be issued to every adult when the BJP comes to power in Delhi.”
With the BJP projecting Modi as its winning mascot, the Congress’s denial of Modi impact has made the Delhi election interesting. Whether the Modi wave will lead the BJP to victory or not in Delhi is yet to be seen, but the election in Delhi will indeed be a litmus test for Modi. It is to be seen as to which party succeeds in charming the people, and who gets the throne in Delhi.