Time and again, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) has exuded confidence that it will take the reins of Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) from Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in the 2022 polls.

To make its case stronger, the Kejriwal-led party has been targeting the BJP which has been ruling MCD since 2007, over the issues of cleanliness, corruption, etc.

In an exclusive interview with AAP leader Durgesh Pathak, IANS asked the party’s agenda for the polls due in April next year and why does he think that people of Delhi will choose the younger AAP over the older BJP on the civic front.

Q. Both AAP-led Delhi government and BJP-led MCD complain of non-cooperation from each other’s side. What kind of cooperation and accountability is AAP expecting from BJP?

A. We are not expecting any accountability from MCD. Instead, we are asking the civic body to be accountable to the people of Delhi. There are ‘N’ number of works that BJP-led MCD has failed to deliver on. Start with the streets of Delhi, there is garbage lying everywhere. There are three tall landfills in the national capital, followed by corruption in almost every department.

Look at the case of General Provident Fund (GPF) payouts, the North MCD should be having Rs 1,232 crore. However, there is only Rs 28 crore in its accounts. Where has the difference gone? We are certain that it is a case of corruption, that too when Delhi government is releasing the amount and they are getting taxes. This shows that the MCD has failed Delhi and its people.

Q. Why do you think voters of Delhi should choose AAP over BJP this time?

A. AAP has come into power in 2015. Before that there was no AAP. In the past few years, the Kejriwal-led government has proved that it can provide better facilities to Delhiites. Today, the Delhi government has given free electricity, good roads, water facilities. Even unauthorised colonies in the capital have been provided with all the basic necessities, Delhi government hospitals are running smoothly. The list is endless and we are sure that on the basis of these many years of hard work, the people of Delhi will vote AAP.

Q. What will be the topmost priorities of AAP after taking over the reins of MCD?

A. Cleanliness will be our top-most priority. We want to transform Delhi into a world-class city. It will be neat and clean and there will be no landfills. Eradication of corruption from the civic body is another major issue. In today’s time, MCD is only pro-BJP, AAP will change that by making it pro-people.

Q. AAP in its manifesto for 2020 Assembly elections had promised that it will appoint Safai Karamcharis as per the 2011 census of Delhi’s population. What has been the update on that?

A. Once AAP makes it to the MCD, we will ensure that all the demands of Delhi’s safai karamcharis are discussed and fulfilled.

AAP has always delivered more than it has promised in its manifesto. The party will keep on working on the same lines.

Q. As per an RTI, 61 MCD workers have died during Covid pandemic and their families are still awaiting the compensation of Rs 1 crore from Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal.

A. The Delhi government writes to every department to send information of all those who have passed away in the line of duty during the pandemic. Once, MCD provides the government with figures, the ‘samman rashi’ (compensatory amount) will be given to the kin of the deceased workers.

(Radhika Tiwari can be reached at radhika.t@ians.in)

–IANS

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