BJP’s Delhi unit seems way ahead of AAP in run up to MCD polls

Saffron party’s strong Morchas & able Media Wing making all the difference

by Pankaj Patrakaar

New Delhi, Dec. 28 (Delhi Crown): Local bodies (MCDs) elections are slated to be held in March-April next year, as political one-upmanship, particularly between the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) has reached fever pitch in the national capital.

Currently, the BJP is in control of all three MCDs — the South Delhi Municipal Corporation (SDMC), the North Delhi Municipal Corporation (NDMC) and the East Delhi Municipal Corporation (EDMC), while the AAP sits on Treasury benches in the Delhi Assembly.

In January 2012, the 272 wards of the erstwhile MCD were trifurcated. The BJP is keen to retain its control over these local bodies for another five years, starting from 2022, having already overseen its functioning for the past decade. Prior to 2012, the BJP was in control of the joint MCD.

In the run up to the 2022 MCD polls, the BJP is streets ahead of the AAP in terms of preparation and strategy. Armed with a strong network of Morchas – Mahila Morcha, Yuva Morcha, OBC Morcha, Minority Morcha, SC Morcha, Poorvanchal Morcha, etc., the BJP is leaving no stone unturned to achieve a fourth successive electoral win at the local level.

On Sunday (December 26), a day-long meeting of all Morchas was held, where all office bearers vowed to give their maximum in the forthcoming polls.

Delhi’s BJP chief Adesh Gupta seems to have struck the right chord with voters after leading several successive campaigns, including the “Jhuggi Samman Yatra”, touching almost every nook and corner of the city-state.

In contrast, the AAP’s Delhi unit convener Gopal Rai, Incharge of MCD Polls Durgesh Pathak, or its National Convener Arvind Kejriwal are hardly seen or heard talking about local bodies’ polls ahead.

Meanwhile, the BJP’s central leadership too is keen on ensuring the party’s win. On Sunday Union Home Minister Amit Shah reminded Kejriwal, who is also Delhi’s Chief Minister, to clear the “Rs. 13,000 crore dues” to the three MCDs.

Kejriwal appears to be the lone star campaigner of his party for the upcoming MCD polls, yet he seems more focused on winning assembly elections in Punjab, Uttarakhand and Goa.

His consistent absence from Delhi has given the BJP an open ground to score politically before the forthcoming polls.

Elated by its superb victory in the just-concluded local body polls in Chandigarh, the results of which were announced on Monday, the AAP now wishes to link it to the ensuing assembly polls in Punjab. Going gung-ho over Chandigarh win, the party leadership appears to be failing to give the required attention to poll-preparedness in Delhi.

Despite its tall claim of initiating reforms in the health and education sectors, the AAP had managed to win just 49 of the 272 municipal wards in the last MCD polls held in 2017.

Compared to a well-knit BJP Delhi unit, the AAP seems to be falling short of the required manpower to take on the gigantic saffron brigade (of leaders). The BJP’s seven Members of Parliament (MPs) too are working to push the AAP to a corner in MCDs politics.

A strong media wing of the Delhi BJP led by Naveen Kumar, a veteran journalist, is making all the difference, while the AAP’s media wing appears to be in a state of slumber.

On any given day, the BJP’s media wing churns out at least six to seven press releases or statements, besides relevant photographs, in a bid to reach out to all possible media outfits in the national capital. In contrast, the AAP’s media wing is lagging way behind in terms of outreach.

Naveen Kumar is seen posting his own videos on various social media platforms to highlight the alleged failures of the Kejriwal Sarkaar. On the other hand, the AAP’s media wing appears to be in the hands of a group of novices, with Arunoday Prakash and Nagendra Sharma no longer at the scene.

The AAP Delhi’s membership drive, announced a couple of weeks ago, turned out to be a damp squib, even as its MCD councillors and others continue to struggle to put things in order. Ground reports suggest that the AAP’s membership drive is yet to pick up..!

With the MCD polls nearly three to four months away, the third contender – the Congress Party – is yet to come out of its long slumber, even as its leaders can be heard saying – “There is no future of our party in the coming MCD polls. Hence, we are keeping cool and calm.”

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