The announcement of the Delhi Vidhan Sabha election 2020 has again made the media focus back on issues that bother the capital. Electricity, pure drinking water, health, transport, education and jobs are some of the contesting points that would be deeply scrutinized. In the State Assembly elections in India generally local issues play an important role in deciding the fate of the candidate.
The ruling Aam Aadmi Party has focused on free electricity and mohalla clinics which have improved the accessibility to public service for the poor. Moreover, excellent government schools have made the local population think about sending their children to these institutions.
The opposition in the Delhi assembly elections 2020 this time is BJP, which would focus on the land allotment to the poor and a host of national issues like 370, Triple Talaq and most importantly NRC-CAA. Manoj Tiwari is their expected CM candidate and is expected to make the battle interesting. But the question is can national issues take over from local issues in the legislative assembly? Opinion polls, however, have given a clear verdict that the most preferred CM of the state is still the “muffler man” Arvind Kejriwal.
5 years of AAP: Analyzing the key areas
To know whether they are an ideal party to serve the people of Delhi, let’s take an insight into the past promises made by AAP and whether they fulfilled it or not.
Governance and corruption
Mr Kejriwal promised to bring Jan Lokpal bill to free up the government. Although the bill passed in Delhi Assembly, Centre rejected it. Another promise was local self-government by Swaraj. Delhi government passed the Swaraj Bill. Later, Lieutenant General disapproved it. Full statehood was his another promise but was beyond the jurisdiction of Delhi Government.
Electricity and education
When we go through the success story of the AAP government, throughout five years, the rates of electricity bill did not increase. In 2019, he introduced a 100% subsidy to those consuming less than 200 units in a month and 50% for less than 400 units. As far as education is concerned, it strictly restricted public schools from increasing their annual fees. Due to increased autonomy of the school committees, government schools improved a lot. Only 30 schools were constructed instead of 500 as promised in 2015 blaming the centre for not allotting the land for school construction. However, 8000 classrooms were introduced in the existing school. The best part of the government was happy curriculum which was highly appreciated by the experts and other states too wanted to implement it.
In 2015, Mr Kejriwal promised to introduce 30000 beds in hospitals and to construct 900 primary health centres throughout the city. However, only 200-300 and 11000 primary health centres and hospital beds were added during his tenure. On a satisfactory note, quality of treatment enhanced a lot. Government hospitals improved as patients go medicines easily and regularly than earlier. Moreover, there was a hike in the annual health budget since he came into power.
In 2015, Kejriwal promised to supply piped water to the Delhi residents. However, as per last year’s report of Delhi Jal Board (operating directly under CM), it could avail the piped water supply to only seven clusters of Jhuggi Jhopri. Still, 650 JJs and approx 100 unauthorised colonies don’t have a water connection.
Kejriwal’s popular odd-even theory to reduce pollution was quite popular. However, people criticised it due to several flaws. They even promised to protect the forest cover in the city by planting approx 35 lakh trees. But, the government granted permission for cutting 1700 trees. None of the applications to cut the trees for some work were rejected. Today, Delhi is a highly populated city in India.
Another promise made in 2015 was to enhance women’s safety and introduce 15 lakh CCTV cameras to monitor each place and equip public vehicles with these lenses. Later in July 2019, it directed PWD to procure 1.5 lakh CCTV cameras and by August, he introduced camera installation for getting 4000 cameras in every constituency.
In the present election campaigning, AAP has followed the matured techniques and is utmost focused for the welfare of 35 lakh people in the city. Although the aggressive protest on CAA and NRC is going on throughout the National capital, he has not targeted the PM or his flaws to impress the voters. Unlike other political parties who continuously attack the other party to prove themselves better, Arvind Kejriwal has strategically shifted towards mature leadership.
Initially, he fell prey into several controversies which badly ruined his image. Now, he has shifted from aggressive campaigning to solving the real issues while connecting directly to the citizens. A constant downfall in the majority support of BJP at the heartland states, two things are pretty clear about this:
- The theory of double-engine growth of BJP is no more valid for voters as they want different manifesto for state and the centre.
- Secondly, BJP is in trouble while connecting the issues of nationalism with that of the state.
Keeping the above factors in mind, BJP is planning to deal with the robust AAP that claims “Abki Baar 67 Paar.” They are more concentrated towards the local issues and have targeted AAP over the quality of drinking water. As per the promise of BJP candidate, Manoj Tiwari, they would make electricity and water cheaper by five times if they come into power. A recent bill passed in Parliament for the regularisation of unauthorised colonies can play a key role for BJP in winning the elections.
As far as the other leading party, Congress is concerned, they are expected to perform better on the grounds of CAA protests. Salman Khurshid has gained enough goodwill, especially among Muslim voters. As far as the vote is concerned, BJP has obtained enough support in Purvanchal areas, slum and Muslim voters support Congress. Traffic jam and pollution is the major worrying point for Delhi residents and can be a winning factor if the voters believe the BJP government.
There are approx 1.43 crore voters in Delhi, out of which:
- Purvanchali voters earlier supported Congress that fledge towards AAP. BJP was supported by the upper caste Delhi, especially the Baniya community. They vote for approx 25 constituencies which greatly impacts the 70 seats.
- 35% of voters are Punjabis which can equally impact major seats of Delhi like Purvanchalis.
- With the increasing protest for CAA, the percentage of Muslim voters might shift towards Congress or AAP.
Every party is trying to woo the voters while raising the real issues. As per the direct conversation and recent report analysis, most of the people claim that they only want AAP and Mr Arvind Kejriwal as their CM. However, the fate of Delhi Assembly seats lies in the hands of voters as whom they choose their CM. It is entirely upon them whether they vote after analysing the real issues or on the grounds of the aggressive protests against CAA and NRC. Whatever be the choice, they need to understand what is good for their city and accordingly choose the right candidate. Well, wait for the Delhi Election polling date and finally February 11 to know the results.