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Ahead of the December 4 municipal polls, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Wednesday claimed the BJP has deployed 17 Union ministers to fight an 'aam aadmi' like him and said this was done to cover up the party's "inefficiency" during its tenure in the civic body.
The Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) polls are being seen as a high stakes contest with the Kejriwal-led Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) and the Congress eyeing to wrest it from the BJP which ruled it for 15 years.
The AAP will get rid of corruption from the MCD in just three to four months, if voted to power and "mark my words, you will not need to pay an extra penny to get your work done in the MCD", asserted Kejriwal, who led a roadshow from Malka Ganj Chowk near Kamla Nagar to Ghanta Ghar Chowk.
People gathered in large numbers and the stretch was dotted with blue, yellow and white as they danced and sang to the beats of drums while waving AAP flags.
Kejriwal assured that all MCD employees will get their salary in the first week of every month. It does not "matter how I do it, but I will arrange funds and make it possible", he said.
Salaries will be given to all employees on time and along with this, all contract workers will be regularised, the AAP national convener said.
"They have littered trash all over Delhi. Now, we must clean up the garbage in Delhi. They have created three massive garbage mountains. They had planned to build 16 more garbage mountains in Delhi, but under AAP's rule no garbage mountains will be built within the city limits," Kejriwal said attacking the BJP.
The AAP had, earlier this month, announced "10 guarantees" for the MCD polls, the foremost of which was to clear the Bhalswa, Okhla and Ghazipur landfill sites.
"We will pick up garbage from every house, clean up Delhi, and rid the city of its garbage mountains. There are no garbage mountains in any of the world's major cities. There should not be any garbage mountains in Delhi too," the chief minister said.
Kejriwal said his party will also involve resident welfare associations in governance. "Right now the common people have to face bumps to get small works done. We will give the status of mini-councillor to resident welfare associations. They can get all the work done within their associations," he said.
For this, funds and powers will be given to the resident welfare associations, Kejriwal said.
This will be a "very revolutionary" step and it will change the system and way governments are run in the country, he said and appealed to people to support the AAP in the MCD polls.
"This election is not about any political party but about the prestige and progress of Delhi. These people have turned Delhi into such a huge dumpster that it is now difficult for people to live here," Kejriwal said.
"You gave us the job of fixing schools, hospitals, electricity, water and governance, you have the results in front of you... But garbage management is under the MCD. We have to come together and will solve this problem," he said.
Kejriwal said it pains his heart to see the national capital engulfed in garbage and lamented that despite being the chief minister, "I have no power to clean this garbage because of the division of powers".
If given a chance to run the MCD for five years, the AAP "will give you a sparkling clean Delhi", he said.
Attacking the BJP, Kejriwal said the party has deployed seven of its chief ministers, one of its deputy chief ministers, and 17 Union ministers to campaign in the MCD elections.
Chief ministers Yogi Adityanath, Jairam Thakur, Manohar Lal Khattar, Shivraj Singh Chouhan, Pushkar Singh Dhami, Himanta Biswa Sarma and Pramod Sawant have all left their states to campaign against the AAP for a municipal election, he said.
"(BJP chief) JP Nadda and (Union ministers) Amit Shah, Smriti Irani, Hardeep Singh Puri, Piyush Goyal and Rajnath Singh and all other bigwigs of the BJP have left everything in their plates to abuse us," Kejriwal said, adding that against them, "you see me, an 'aam aadmi' (common man), fighting it out alone".
"Had these people done some work in the last 15 years they would not have needed their whole battalion of chief ministers and ministers to campaign against me," he said.
Kejriwal said the public campaigns for the AAP. "We did not need to bring the Punjab chief minister (Bhagwant Mann) out here. We believe in hardwork, we believe in effective governance," he said. Mann is among the party's star campaigners.
Exuding confidence, he said when the BJP is contesting against the AAP in Delhi it stands no chance.
"Yogi Adityanath was campaigning recently and someone asked him to tell about a few works the BJP did in the MCD. He was clueless. He had no answer. He called Shivraj Singh Chouhan for help, he had no clue so he called Pushkar Dhami. This chain went on one by one," Kejriwal said.
No one knew what to say and they needed an answer because they felt insulted on the streets, he alleged.
"They all called up Nadda to ask for the correct answer to the question. Nadda also had no clue. They all then called Shah with the question and he went straight to the media," Kejriwal said.
The BJP argues that "it has done nothing in the MCD at all because Kejriwal does not let them work", he said, claiming that the Delhi government had given Rs 1 lakh crore to the MCD which the BJP gobbled up.
"If you ask their candidates about this, mark my words, they will run away in a second. Till this date, they cannot explain where the money went. They did not pay MCD workers, doctors, nurses or teachers," he said.
Kejriwal claimed that the central government refuses to pay Delhi its rightful share of funds.
"We practically get nothing from the Centre all year. Do you see me crying, yelling and howling on the streets like these jokers? Despite all the challenges and all the hurdles, we give electricity, water, education, healthcare, pilgrimage for the elderly, bus travel for women completely free of cost," he said.
(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)
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First Published: Thu, December 01 2022. 06:59 IST