MCD elections 2017: Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), which used to bank just on the votes of ‘aam aadmi’ under its chief Arvind Kejriwal once and famously rode to a standout victory during the Delhi assembly polls, has changed its strategy for the local polls this time and is now focussing on grabbing the votes of migrant and propertied sections too. It emerges, ahead of the municipal polls, AAP has tried to tap into the propertied class vote base. Kejriwal’s two major promises – waiving house tax and water subsidies for tenants – are an attempt to strengthen its hold on the migrant and opulent population.
Previously, to tap into ‘aam aadmi’ voter base, AAP had promised to waive off water and electricity charges. To fulfill its pre-poll promises – Kejriwal had then brought down power and water tariffs after he became chief minister. While it was benefitting a major section of the capital, tenants still used to pay an ‘average rate’ for combined electricity meter readings.
“So far, every household with a single meter could avail of this benefit but a large number of tenants were left out due to the cap for the first 400 units. If AAP comes to power in the MCDs, we intend to make tenants eligible for separate meters so that they can benefit from the subsidy for the first 400 units,” an AAP leader told The Indian Express.
In an attempt to woo the propertied class, a senior leader said,”House tax collections have been a big scam in the BJP-ruled MCDs. This is for the propertied class, but they too have a right to honest governance.” He also added that “Each household has an average of four to five voters, which would mean over 40 lakh votes that will take a stand on the issue,” he added.
Citing his previous poll promise as an example, Kejriwal has dismissed the doubts of the BJP and the Congress over the feasibility of the waiver.“They made fun of me when I promised free water and power subsidy. They had said the DJB will be further in loss but the body recorded a Rs 178 crore profit.”
In a separate development, Congress councillor has joined AAP. Former Deputy Mayor Razia Sultana, who remained Congress councillor for consecutive three times, said “In the Congress, only moneyed candidates are being given a patient hearing, not the honest party worker… So I decided to join hands with Arvind Kejriwal.”