Facing double challenge of Gujarat & MCD, AAP takes on BJP with ‘Garbage Mountain’

With the announcement of MCD polls, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) is facing double-edged challenges in Delhi and Gujarat.

While the 250-ward Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) will go to the polls on December 4, elections to the 182-member Gujarat Assembly will be held in two phases on December 1 and 5. The counting of votes for MCD and Gujarat will be taken up on December 7 and December 8, respectively.

In Delhi, AAP has made it clear that it is going contest the MCD polls with the agenda of clearing the three garbage mountains in the national capital.

In Gujarat, AAP is banking on the promise of making Delhi-like schools, hospitals and its flagship programme of giving free electricity, among others.

Both in Delhi and Gujarat, AAP is facing the BJP as the main opponent. While the saffron party has been in power in Gujarat for 27 years now, in Delhi the BJP is leaving nothing to chance in its bid for a fourth straight term at the MCD.

Though countering the BJP in Delhi with its resources may be relatively easy for AAP, Gujarat has been BJP’s bastion and is a much larger state.

Delhi Chief Minister and AAP national convenor Arvind Kejriwal is countering the BJP over “15 years of bad governance” in MCD, making the three large garbage mountains which contribute to pollution in the city a major issue.

AAP is fighting the polls on the issue of making the city garbage-free and enhancing its aesthetic sense.

On Friday, Kejriwal announced 10 guarantees for the public, which the party called ‘Kejriwal Ki 10 Guarantees’.

Announcing the same, Kejriwal said that the first guarantee is that no new landfill sites will be formed in the city.

“We will clear all the three garbage mountains and will not allow the formation of any new landfill in the city,” said Kejriwal, adding that AAP will invite global experts to find a solution to the garbage issue.

Among other guarantees, Kejriwal announced that Delhi will be developed as the city of parks, while a permanent and practical solution will be found for the parking issue.

Kejriwal’s two loyalists — Gopal Rai and Durgesh Pathak — have been assigned the responsibility of preparing the blueprint for the MCD polls. Minister Gopal Rai is the state convenor of the party while MLA Durgesh Pathak is the MCD election in-charge.

With Kejriwal and his deputy Manish Sisodia likely to remain engaged with campaighing in Gujarat, AAP with its Delhi unit resources is pinning hopes on their ‘door to door’ and ‘Kude Par Jansamvad’ campaigns to take on the BJP.

The party has started ‘Kude Par Jansamvad’ at 13,682 booths to reach out to Delhiites before the elections. The party is planning hold public dialogues at each of Delhi’s 13,682 booths by November 20.

The BJP is countering AAP with two important issues — pollution and corruption. However, the saffron party is also facing massive anti-incumbency after being in power for 15 years. It also lacks a face like Arvind Kejriwal to counter the AAP.

Meanwhile, the Congress is trying to woo the voters on the work done during the tenure of late Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit.

On the flip side, the civic body polls might turn out to be an uphill task for AAP as its top leadership is engaged in Gujarat.

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