Delhi BJP chief Manoj Tiwari said today the performance of his party-run civic bodies was not up to the "high standard" the BJP has set for itself, but voiced confidence that Prime Minister Narendra Modi's image will make it win the MCD polls for a third time in a row.
He, however, also blamed the Arvind Kejriwal government for not being able to ensure proper functioning of the three municipal corporations, saying the bodies are departments which come under the Delhi government and it is the latter's responsibility to ensure its smooth running.
The Bhojpuri actor-singer-turned-politician also asserted that the party will not face anti-incumbency sentiments in the upcoming civic polls, which he said was the "semi-final" to the next Assembly elections in Delhi, whose Chief Minister will be from the saffron party.
"The three municipal corporations ruled by the party have not been able to touch the benchmark of work set by the BJP at the national level after it came to power in 2014," Tiwari told PTI.
He said the "so-called" anti-incumbency against the 10- year rule of the BJP in the municipal corporations is "not so much visible on the ground" as is being discussed in the media and by opposition parties.
"Municipal corporations are merely a department of the Delhi government. Therefore, the Delhi Chief Minister is fully responsible if the civic bodies have not been able to perform up to the mark," he asserted.
Noting that in the last 10 years the Congress ruled Delhi for seven years and the AAP for two years, Tiwari said that these two parties are to be equally blamed and are "guilty" if the performance of the civic bodies was not "up to the mark".
"We are poised to win over 200 seats in the municipal corporation elections.
"The MCD poll is like semi-final before the next Assembly elections in Delhi, which is due in 2020. Who knows how long the Arvind Kejriwal government will last. There may be Assembly polls before 2019 general elections in the country," Tiwari said.
Before 2012, there was one unified Municipal Corporation of Delhi. During the Sheila Dikshit regime, it was trifurcated into three bodies - North, South and East Delhi Municipal Corporations. The BJP has been ruling the civic bodies since 2007.
The 2017 civic body polls, across 272 wards, is scheduled to take place on April 23 while the counting will take place on April 26. The BJP, Congress and the AAP are locked in a triangular contest.
Christening Prime Minister Narendra Modi as being the brand name for "policy of honesty", Tiwari said that his name was enough to make the opposition "restless".
"Narendra Modi is the name of a policy which is honesty. The BJP embodies this policy of honesty symbolised by Modi. The opponents are feeling uncomfortable as Modi is projected as our leader in the elections.
"They go breathless as they encounter photos of Modi. We are going to cross 200 mark this time," he added.
He asserted, "Let Kejriwal handle the municipal corporations and the BJP be allowed to run the Delhi government. Everything will be fixed."
He said that the municipal corporations have come up with beautiful parks in the city that have saved people from pollution.
He said that in the recent Rajouri Garden Assembly bypoll, the people rejected the Aam Aadmi Party whose candidate could not event save his deposit. "On April 23, people will again reject it," he said.