Witty slogans and colourful posters are adding a zing to Delhi’s political atmosphere here ahead of the civic polls, where election campaigning have already raised the stakes high and the decibels higher. With just a few days away from polling, the battle for the MCD is heating up, with big rallies, blaring loudspeakers and verbal volleys, hurled at opponents, adding to the drama. All three major parties, the BJP, the Congress and the AAP, are going all-out in the poster wars to woo voters, mixing political attack with a dash of humour.
“Bahane nahin karenge vikas, anubhav hai hamare paas (No excuses, only development; we have the experience),” exclaims one of the slogans, put up by the Delhi Congress in its hoardings and banners across the city. The BJP, which has been ruling the MCD for the last 10 years, has come up with a “nai strategy” going with “new faces” in the polls due on April 23. The party has decided to not field any of its sitting 153 councillors.
“Nai chehre, nai urja, nai udaan, Dilli maangey kamal nishan (New faces, new energy, new heights, Delhi wants lotus symbol),” reads the saffron-suffused banners and posters, put by the party at prominent places in the city. The AAP, which has been hogging the news headlines over alleged overspending on government advertisements has played on its “house tax waiver” poll promise, in its MCD poll campaigning, while dovetailing it with sly political attack on the BJP.
“Dilli ko saaf karne ke liye Kejriwal ko vote deyn (Vote for Kejriwal to clean Delhi),” reads a banner put up by the AAP. Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has been accusing the BJP of “turning the city into a garbage dump” and the campaigns have been designed to target the three corporations. “Pehle bijli half, phir paani maaf; Ab house tax maaf aur Dilli saaf (First power tariff cut by half, then water bill waived; now house tax waiver and cleaning of Delhi” — screams a big hoarding put up on the wall of a public convenience on the Ring Road in south Delhi.
JD(U) which is fighting the polls with a little over 100 candidates, is banking high on the Purvanchali community and the prohibition model of Nitish Kumar government. “Tir badlega Dilli ki tasveer aur takdir (Arrow will change the scenario and fate of Delhi),” says the slogan by the JD(U). Arrow is the symbol of the Nitish Kumar-led party.
The erstwhile unified Municipal Corporation of Delhi was trifurcated into North, South and East Delhi Municipal Corporations in 2012.
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While the NDMC and SDMC have 104 wards each, EDMC has 64. The BJP has been ruling the three civic bodies for the last 10 years. Campaigning is in full swing in all parts of Delhi. Andrews Ganj’s Congress councillor Abhishek Dutt, who is seeking another term, has been campaigning from unauthorised colonies to posh bungalow zones in south Delhi. “Pehla vote vishwas ka, dusra vote vikas ka (first vote was for faith, now vote for development),” reads the tagline on his campaign posters.
The Delhi Congress had launched the slogan — “Toot gayi vikas ki dore, vapas chalo Congress ki ore (The rope of development has snapped, let us return to Congress)” — in January for the civic polls, asserting that ‘development’ would be the party’s core issue. Both the BJP and the Congress have fronted their big guns in the poll campaign to shore up their fortunes in the polls.