The BJP was confident that the result of the by-election of Subhash Nagar municipal ward will be in its favour, but the margin of victory will be so high, was unexpected. It was the forgery by Congress candidate Sunita Bharati from this ward in 2002 that forced the people of this constituency to face this bye-election. The people of Delhi have so much acrimony against the Congress that they had made up their mind to get the security of the Congress candidate forfeited in the forthcoming elections. Whatever excuses the Congress may make, the truth is that the by-election to Subhash Nagar ward was an opportunity for the people to measure the popularity of the BJP and the Congress. It was a mini referendum. In this referendum the people offered the crown of victory to the BJP.
There are 60,000 voters in Subhash Nagar ward. People of all communities and classes live here. In the election held on July 23, about 45 per cent voters exercised their franchise. This is the public expression of the sentiments and inner voice of the voters of Delhi through votes.
The Congress had promised to bring Ramraj in Delhi. In its election manifesto, it had made so many positive promises that the people of Delhi had begun to believe that if the Congress won, everything would change. The people of Delhi had voted for the Congress for the second time in 2003. Even today, the Congress is a ruling party at the Centre, Delhi and MCD. This is the reason why the Congress had taken it to be granted that it is the compulsion of the people of Delhi to make the Congress victorious.
Disregarding the public sentiments, Smt Sheila Dikshit privatised the power distribution system of Delhi. A bungling of 12,500 crores was committed in this project and it has been confirmed by the CAG, Central Energy Committee and Public Accounts Committee of Delhi Legislative Assembly. The BJP has been demanding an enquiry into this bungling. Even the President, Prime Minister were requested to order an enquiry into it. But nobody considered it proper to go into the roots of the bungling. The private power companies installed low-grade electronic meters and started sending inflated bills. When complaints were lodged against the bill then the power was disconnected. The private companies imposed penalty in lakhs of rupees on people. The general consumer was considered thief. The real power thieves are being given protection by the Congress and it did not take any step to prevent power theft. The burden of loss due to power theft was put on the honest power consumers.
Privatisation of water was started surreptitiously. When the BJP protested, the Chief Minister clarified that she will not resort to privatisation, but in spite of this the Sonia Vihar Water Treatment Plant was handed over to foreign private company Dagremont. The people have not been supplied even a drop of water from this plant and expenditure of Rs 850 crore was made on it. After getting water from Uttar Pradesh for the Plant, the Chief Minister had made an announcement that from July 1 the people of South and East Delhi will be getting water from this plant. But this promise has not been fulfilled so far.
Both the Government of Delhi and MCD are working like institutions of public exploitation. The Congress is not concerned about constitutional obligations and welfare of the public. During the two years rule at Centre seven and half years rule in Delhi and four and half years rule in the MCD, the Congress has broken all the records of corruption. The lack of rule, dictatorship and anti-people decisions of the Congress have broken the back of the people. The demolition and sealing drive was initiated due to the wrong policies of the Congress in Delhi. As a result, lakhs of people were rendered homeless and unemployed. The Government have no plan for their rehabilitation. Instead of providing amenities, the Government is treating the people as a machine to extract money from them. Many unnecessary taxes have been imposed. Unit Area Method has failed even after increasing tax by many times. Value added tax (VAT) and service tax have increased the prices manifolds.
Now even the Supreme Court and High Court do not trust the Congress Government and MCD. The Courts have already warned of dissolving the MCD. The education system has failed completely. The condition of health system is also very bad. There is a great irregularity in the process of tenders under the MCD and Delhi Government. More than 50 big-bunglings have been committed in the MCD.
The Supreme Court and High Court have many times reprimanded the MCD in connection with issues of catching stray animals, illegal meat shops, slaughter house construction, cremation ground, submission of false affidavits in the court by the engineers, removal of illegal bastis from the Yamuna river banks, removal of illegal religious places, widening of roads, cleaning of the banks of Yamuna, removal of dhobhi ghats from the banks of Yamuna, discharge from dirty drains and industrial pollutants into Yamuna only after their treatment, removal of illegal posters and hordings, removal of Jhuggi Jhonpries near Akshardham temple, removal of encroachment from Bhairon Ghat, removal of illegal speed breakers, illegal occupation of green belts, posters, banners on public places etc. More than half a dozen Congress councillors have been caught red handed while taking bribe. The corruption story of Congress councilors Hiren Tokas, Khazan Singh, Ashok Jain, Ishwar Singh Bagri, Praveen Messi, etc. is on the lips of every Delhiite. The MCD has become a burden for the people of Delhi. The people of Delhi want to get rid of the Delhi Government and MCD immediately.
Now the only ray of hope for the people of Delhi is the BJP. This is the reason why they have made the BJP victorious in Subhash Nagar ward by record votes. This is a warning and also a message to the Congress that the people of Delhi are anxiously waiting for the return of BJP.
(The writer is President of Delhi BJP and former Health and Education Minister.)