1. MCD elections 2017: Congress releases blueprint; Shashi Tharoor says going beyond ‘tu-tu main-main’, focused on solving Delhiites’ problems

MCD elections 2017: Congress releases blueprint; Shashi Tharoor says going beyond ‘tu-tu main-main’, focused on solving Delhiites’ problems

Congress is seeking to shrug off its dismal performances in Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand assembly polls by winning the upcoming MCD elections.

By: | New Delhi | Updated: March 30, 2017 11:02 AM
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Congress is seeking to shrug off its dismal performances in Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand assembly polls by winning the upcoming MCD elections. In a bid to counter Arvind Kejriwal-led AAP and dethrone the incumbent BJP from civic bodies in Delhi, Congress has come up with mesures to woo voters. One such is its blueprint for overhauling primary education and municipal health services in the national capital. Congress has involved senior leaders Salman Khursheed and Shashi Tharoor to prepare the document, according to The Indian Express. It shows that Congress is focused on a constructive professional civic poll campaign offering solutions to the problems faced by Delhiites. This was underlined by former Minister of State for HRD, Tharoor, who had said, “Instead of ‘Tu-Tu Mai-Mai’ campaigning involving allegations on opponents, we are contesting elections in an unprecedentedly professional manner.” The Elections to 272 wards of north, east and south municipal corporations will be held on April 23.

He said, if elected to power, the Congress will set up an “empowered group” to revamp the MCD schools. “There are around 6,500 vacancies for teachers and a lack of infrastructure,” Tharoor said. The party has proposed to deposit Rs 1,000 in the accounts of each student enrolling in MCD schools “as an incentive” to be made available to them after graduating. Former external affairs minister Salman Khurshid said there are “overlapping” roles among multiple agencies resulting in “lack of coordination” in providing health services to the people. “If the six super- specialty hospitals run by the MCDs are handed over to Delhi government, the MCDs could save about Rs 650 crore,” he said, according to the report.

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The former union minister expressed “shock” over “dramatic drop” in the number of students in schools run by three municipal corporations in the city since Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) came to power.

“The real problems are poor pupil-teacher ratio due to vacancies of around 6,500 teachers and lack of infrastructure,” he said expressing “shock” that kids were forced to sit on floors during winters due to unavailability of desks and chairs for them.

He also announced that after winning MCD elections, Congress will deposit Rs 1,000 in the account of each student enrolling in MCD schools so that after completion of high school they could use it for their future education.

Congress veteran Salman Khurshid exuded hope that party will win MCD polls through constructive and solution- oriented approach while highlighting a roadmap for primary health.

He pointed to “overlapping” of roles among multiple agencies resulting in “lack of coordination” in providing health services to the people.

“If the six super speciality hospitals run by municipal corporations are handed over to Delhi government, the civic bodies could save about Rs 650 crore,” he said.

Presenting the 10-point action plan of Delhi Congress for reforming MCD health services, he said the party is committed to provide “safe and dignified” services to people after winning the polls.

Pointing to “chaos and lack of accountability” in health services by BJP-ruled MCD, the roadmap promised to upgrade MCD health services within three months after the party comes to power.

Khurshid also announced promises of task force to check vector-borne diseases, health centres at Metro stations, digitisation of health services delivery system and health watch groups to ward off epidemics like dengue and chikungunya.

Delhi Congress president Ajay Maken said BJP-ruled municipal corporations are discharging roles that should be played by Delhi government which has assumed municipal roles.

“The three municipal corporations are running six super speciality hospitals while Delhi government is running Mohalla clinics,” he said.

Maken said that Congress after winning polls would hand over hospitals to government while focusing on services provided by dispensaries.

He also batted for “private partnership” to improve quality of MCD schools.

(With agency inputs)

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