Dr Harsh Vardhan emerges most preferred CM candidate
BJP’s Chief Ministerial candidate Dr Harsh Vardhan has emerged as the most preferred Chief Ministerial candidate in Delhi. A survey conducted by ORG-India Today says as many as 38 per cent respondents want the former Health Minister of Delhi to become the Chief Minister, followed by the three-time incumbent, Sheila Dikshit at 28 per cent and Arvind Kejriwal at 26 per cent.
The opinion poll also gives the BJP 40 seats in the 70-member House, followed by 18 to the Congress and 10 to Aam Aadmi Party, which is fighting its maiden election. The BJP is thus likely to increase its tally by 17 from 23 in 2008 even as there is only a one per cent swing in vote share in its favour. Congress on the other hand is losing a massive 11 per cent vote share from 40 per cent in 2008, and thus losing 25 seats in the process. The opinion poll, conducted on November 24-25 across 35 constituencies, gives Others two seats, showing no change in their tally despite a 3 per cent fall in the vote share from 10 per cent in 2008.
Only one week back, the ABP-Nielsen survey had shown the BJP emerging as single-largest party. It said the BJP was likely to get around 32 seats in the 70-member house with a vote share of 33 per cent. The Congress was expected to get 25 seats with 26 per cent vote share and Arvind Kejriwal’s Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) was likely to get 10 seats with 23 per cent vote share. However, according to the survey 15-20 seats, where the victory margin would be narrow (two per cent), could impact the final poll outcome. The opinion poll was conducted with 6,340 respondents.
Survey shows Kejriwal on top, Sheila on third position, but Vijendra Gupta of BJP may be the giant killer
The upcoming Assembly elections in Delhi could see one of its biggest upsets, if results of an opinion poll commissioned by the Economic Times are to be believed. A survey of 2,101 registered voters in the city’s prestigious New Delhi assembly seat by polling firm TNS for ET shows AAP leader Arvind Kejriwal winning the fight, hands down, trouncing sitting legislator and three-time Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit by a wide margin.
The survey conducted between November 22 and November 24 and covering half the 188 polling booths in the constituency, showed that if elections were held during those dates, Kejriwal stood to win more than 40 per cent of the votes – 41 per cent of male voters and 42 per cent of female voters – followed by BJP candidate Vijender Gupta and then Dikshit at third position.
A defeat for Dikshit, whose popularity by political pundits long rated higher than that of Congress and whose victory has always been considered a slam dunk, and especially at the hands of a debutant such as Kejriwal could send shockwaves across the capital and possibly even national politics, providing fodder to critics who will spare no attempt at projecting it as a foretaste of what awaits the party in 2014. If it happens, it could also mark one of the biggest electoral upsets of all time.
During a period AAP was on the defensive buffeted by allegations of corrupt practices by some of its candidates, shows the fledgling party enjoys the support of all segments of society, especially young voters. Kejriwal, 45, was favoured by 49 per cent of voters aged between 18 and 25 years compared with 19 per cent and 20 per cent for Congress and BJP, respectively. 21 per cent of the respondents in the poll were in the 18-25 years age group. AAP fared better than its rivals in all age brackets and across religious and caste lines. TNS has projected a margin of error of 2.12 per cent and a 95 per cent confidence level in its results.
The New Delhi assembly constituency is in many ways a microcosm of the entire city, with its voters spanning multiple age, income and professional profiles.—Bureau Report
Security of all should be the top agenda—Ajay Raj Sharma, former Police Commissioner, Delhi
Former Police Commissioner of Delhi, Shri Ajay Raj Sharma is very much concern about the security of common man. “I feel the security of all whether children, women or the older people should be on top of the agenda for all the parties. No government can deploy the police force for security of any particular section of the society, but it can definitely formulate the policy, which puts a check on both the crime and the criminals,” he said.
He said women mostly come out of their houses in the morning and afternoon when they drop or receive their ward from schools, and in the evening when they leave for shoping in the market. If the women are targeted during this period, the police should detect such spots and the time of the crime. If we focus on time, spot and the kind of crime, we can definitely put a check on the crime. The presence of police personnel should be increased at the places where the movement of women is more.
However, Shri Sharma does not subscribe to the idea of creating special commando force for the security of women. “A commando does not hesitate to sacrifice his life for the security of the nation or the people. Deployment of commandos to arrest criminals cannot be justified. What is needed for it is just more reforms in the policies, which are followed strictly. As far as the security of older people is concerned, there is need to introduce beat policing and sensitising the RWAs for it. On moral grounds if a beat constable extends help to any older person for submitting his telephone or electricity bills, it will definitely improve the image of police in the eyes of the general public. Delhi Police is working perfectly under the Central Government. But the Centre too must take effective steps for correcting the faults developed in the system, Shri Sharma added.
Clear indication of public mood
Huge crunch of crowed at election meetings of Congress Shahjada
The election meetings addressed by Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi in Mangolpuri and Dakshinpuri areas of Delhi were highly disappointing for the ‘Shahjada’. Learning their lesson from this debacle, the Congressmen worked overlight to manage crowd for Sonia Gandhi’s meeting later. The irritated ‘Shahjada’ was blaming his partymen for this disaster.
Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit sighted the security reasons for absence of crowd. But who tightened the security so that the meeting of Rahul Gandhi turned to be a flop affair? This is the clear indication of mood of the people in Delhi. They are no longer in a mood to be lured away by Congress’ gimmicks.
The Congress vote bank in many areas is also getting eroded and the contestants are no longer interested in organising big rallies of senior leaders in their areas.
Dakshinpuri is supposed to be the stronghold of Congress, but the failure of getting more crowed for Rahul Gandhi’s meeting on November 17 created ruffle in the party leaders. Chaudhary Prem Singh has been elected from Ambedkar Vidhan Sabha seat consistently for many decades. The Congressmen were assured of his capability to manage the crowd. Now the questions are being raised on the integrity of the managers of the rally. This was consecutively second occasion when Rahul Gandhi had to address comparatively small rallies. This failure made the senior leaders deliberate on the capacity of the leaders.
Sources said though the invitation for Dakshinpuri rally was issued by the PCC president but the name of Jaiprakash Agrawal was not seen on the card. This has brought the differences and bickering to the fore. Hardly some of the chairs in Dakshinpuri rally were filled and when Sheila Dikshit was addressing some women were seen leaving the venue compelling the Chief Minister to request them to be seated and at least listen to ‘Shri Rahul Gandhiji’. Rahul Gandhi completed his speech in just six and half minutes and that too he only listed the ‘achievements’ of Delhi government. When he was speaking people started leaving the rally and some of them stood up at their places, which forced him to cut short speech. If sources were to be believed, Rahul Gandhi took both Sheila Dixit and MP Ramesh Kumar to task for this ‘failure’. In fact, the organizers asked people to be there at 9.00 am while Rahul Gandhi reached there around quarter to two. Now the blame game is on within the Congress for this failure.
Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit called a meeting of MLAs from South, East and North East Delhi at her residence. The Congress leaders advanced the logic that due to security reasons people were not allowed to enter; they were not allowed to carry water bottles with them. Sitting continuously in the sun, people started leaving for want of water and food. Sheila blamed the security arrangement for this debacle. Now Congress leaders are wary of arranging a rally of any big leader for the same security reasons. Congress is disturbed at the massive response to rallies of BJP Star Campaigner Narendra Modi. He is going to address four rallies in Delhi.
Strategy changed for Sonia’s rally
The Congress leaders and workers changed their strategy for November 24 rally of Sonia Gandhi. The rally was organised at Shastri Park in East Delhi and this was held after the lunch time. Earlier, two rallies of Rahul Gandhi were held before lunch time. People used to reach such rallies at 7 am and start leaving at 2 pm. That was the time when Rahul Gandhi used to address the rallies. Taking this into consideration the rally of Sonia Gandhi was fixed after lunch. And the effect of this changed strategy was visible, but not as expected. But still the Congressmen took special efforts to see that people remained glued to their seats during the rally.
Sheila Dikshit government is cornered by rising prices, crime against women, corruption, increased rates of electricity and water, regularisation of unauthorised colonies. The government has not satisfactory reply for this. All have become speechless on the issues of Delhi, and the people want change this time.
Congress is trying to by-pass the issue of price rise in this election. However, party leaders feel that price rise is a global issue and the state government has nothing to do with it. The BJP too is aware of this fact, but they want to drag the Congress into this and paint this as the failure of the Congress party. Narendra Modi, BJP’s Prime Ministerial candidate, has already targeted the Central Government on this issue. The issue of women’s safety is also equally important for Delhi. Being the national capital Delhi police is not under the State Government and as such no party has a concrete solution to this issue. BJP is in favour of granting full statehood to Delhi but Sheila Dikshit has not taken this seriously for the three consecutive terms of her rule. But on the eve of the assembly elections she has once again embarked upon this move of full statehood to Delhi. She appealed to Rahul Gandhi that as and when he assumes power at the Centre he should make Delhi Government fully empowered to deal with its problems. She stated that the multi-layer system of Delhi has become an obstacle in its development.
Though there has been improvement in power supply in the last years, the growing power tariff has broken the backbone of the people. Drinking water supply is a major issue in Outer Delhi, West and South Delhi with over 30 assembly constituencies facing this problem. Regularisation of irregular colonies is another bone of contention. In spite of government claim, a number of colonies have not been regulairsed as yet.
BJP is making all out effort to oust Congress rule from Delhi this time. Rising prices of onions can come handy for the BJP this time. During 1993-98 BJP was ruling the Delhi when there was sudden increase in prices of onions. The same situation at present would be exploited by the BJP for its benefit. Power tariff has seen increase of 65 per cent in last two years. This has given another point in favour of the BJP. The growing power tariff has disturbed the budget of the common people. The popular feelings are against the Congress and this is the major problem for the Congress to deal with. This has made the Congress to plan a careful strategy for each seat to retain its power in Delhi. —Rahul Sharma
Sheila hints at post poll alliance with AAP
AAP is B team of Congress proved again
The secret deals between Congress and Aam Adami Party of Arvind Kejriwal exposed again on November 28 when Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit clearly hinted a post poll alliance with the Aam Aadmi Party, if the Congress fails to gather a majority in 4 December Assembly election. This proves the outcome of the opinion poll correct that the Congress is losing Delhi.
Speaking to IBN network’s editor-in-chief Rajdeep Sardesai, Smt Dikshit said “I don’t rule in or rule out a post election alliance with Aam Aadmi Party.” On being asked if she was ready to quit politics if she lost the upcoming Assembly elections, Dikshit said, “Let’s talk about it when we get there.”
AAP stands exposed in sting
During Anna's Movement, Arvind Kejriwal and his colleagues used to shout slogans of Vande Mataram with tricolor in their hands. But after the formation of AAP, Vande Mataram has vanished. Now Kejriwal met Tauqir Raza, an accused of Bareilly riots, to seek Muslim votes.
The recent ‘sting operation has exposed the much ‘clean’ image of Arvind Kejriwal’s Aam Admi Party (AAP) which is contesting the Delhi elections for the first time. Those ‘clean’ faces that shared the ‘Lokpal’ agitation with social activist Anna Hazare and committed themselves to uproot the corrupt system in the country, are busy in showing their ‘clean’ face after the sting operation by mediasarkar.com. The sting exposed many faces of the AAP including its spokesman Kumar Vishwas. Now AAP is blaming the opposition parties for this sting operation to malign its ‘clean’ image.
“The sting is doctored to downgrade AAP in the public eyes. All our contestants are honest and non-corrupt,” they say. But hardly Arvind Kejriwal anticipated that this could happen to his party leaders too. Mayank Bhardwaj of Delhi University says that when AAP was founded as aftermath of Anna’a agitation, people had faith in it but as the elections come near the AAP also got involved in same political tactics as other rivals. When Anna distanced himself from Kejriwal, fifty per cent people lost faith in it and remaining 50 per cent were disgusted after the sting operation.
Advocate Sandeep Sharma of High Court says the sting operation badly exposed the AAP leaders’ claim to contest elections with the funds collected from people. Shazia Ilmi, who is contesting as AAP Candidate accepted that her election workers are salaried persons whose salary is around 20000/-. She also accepted the fact she was ready to take donations for this and her private secretary went a step ahead in accepting that the expenditure of their office is around 3 to 4 lakh.
The sting operation has tarnished the image of the AAP. The image of their main leaders Shazia Ilmi, Manish Sishodia and even Arvind Kejriwal remained eclipsed in this sting operation. This has made the possibility of their victory distant in the coming elections. Kumar Vishwas has already retreated from the election and there had been general perception that AAP would do very little to change the political equation.
During the Anna’s Movement Arvind Kejriwal and his colleagues used to shout slogans of Vande Mataram with tricolor in their hands. But after the formation of AAP, Vande Mataram has vanished. Now Kejriwal met Tauqir Raza, an accused of Bareilly riots, to seek Muslim votes. He had made it clear that for vote bank he has no objection for appeasement policy. People now feel that Kejriwal and his AAP is more interested in blame game than changing the system.
Refuting the claim of AAP about doctoring the sting operation CD, Anuranjan Jha, CEO of mediasarkar.com wanted to know who gave them Rs 12 crore to carry out this sting. He said that they have submitted this CD to the Election Commission. He said that they were proud to expose the AAP through this sting operation and bring forth their real face before the public.
Noted social activist Nutan Takhur quits after seeing the reality of top AAP leaders
Dr Nutan Thakur of Lucknow is associated with social work since long. She was influenced with AAP and its philosophy and joined the party. But she is now disgusted as the real face of AAP is exposed by a sting operation. Now dejected, she has decided to leave the party. In a letter to Arvind Kejriwal, she wrote that she had seen the entire sting operation and was surprised to see the bigwigs of AAP indulging in accepting money and leading high profile life. She said that she had not done any remarkable work for the party as yet and now with the sting operation she is completely disheartened to be associated with AAP. Instead she would continue with her social activities. Therefore, she is resigning from the membership of the party.
Five major problems of Delhi and their solutions
Omesh Saigal, former Chief Secretary of Delhi
Delhi faces multi-dimensional problems, but their solution has not been found accordingly. Lack of planning, in-effective implementation of programmes and lack of long term planning have further complicated the problems. The five major problems of Delhi and their solutions in my opinion are as follows:
About five lakh people are added to Delhi’s population every year. No agency so far could provide them essential amenities like water, electricity, roads, housing etc. For solving this problem, connectivity of roads and rail should be strengthened in the entire National Capital Region. The by-pass roads to be constructed in outer areas of Delhi should be built on faster pace. The railway lines connecting the sub-urban areas should be strengthened in proper way. Just connecting Ghaziabad, Gurgaon or Faridabad is not adequate, we must focus on to Sonepat, Panipat in the West, Dharuheda in the South, Meerut in North and Hapur in East.
The second major problem of Delhi is housing. The major cause of it is that the Master Plan is either formulated very late or is not implemented properly or is implemented too late. Sometimes the Master Plan is implemented too late when they become irrelevant. It has led to the flood of unauthorised colonies in Delhi. Afterall, everybody needs a roof to protect his family. Therefore, Master Plan should be formulated accordingly and must be implemented timely. All provisions of the Master Plan should be implemented strictly. First turning a blind eye to unauthorised construction and then regularising them it is not any solution.
The third major problem of Delhi is drinking water. There is acute shortage of raw water. The water received through Yamuna is insufficient to meet the requirement of Delhiites. Secondly, whatever water we have is not equally distributed properly. There is about 40 per cent population of Delhi which does not have access to water supply. Therefore, providing water supply to all is the immediate need. For it, we also need to focus on water harvesting and ground water recharge.
The fourth major problem is of disposal of solid waste. About 8000 tonne of waste is produced everyday in Delhi. All landfill sites have been filled to their capacities and no neighbouring state is ready to provide land for it. Therefore, disposal of this waste has become a big headache. The management of the waste is also another problem, as the waste is not collected from all areas ultimately chocking the drainage system. The proposed Master Plan has suggested some solutions to it, but it is not being implemented. We also need to produce energy and manure from this waste.
Traffic Congestion on Roads
The fifth major problem of Delhi is traffic congestion on the roads, which is most obvious as there is no adequate public transportation to meet the requirement of the growing population. Expanding Metro Rail network is no solution. It is not only costly, but also has limitations. It carries to and fro to just about 20 lakh people, whereas the commuters’ population in Delhi is about 1.75 lakh. If we focus only on Metro Rail, what will happen to the remaining 1.55 lakh commuters? Apart from ensuring adequate number of buses, we should focus on decongestion of roads and controlling traffic on the road. Noise on roads is also creating trouble.(As told to Pramod Kumar)
Key Points of the Manifestos
The BJP, which appears to be getting absolute majority in Delhi Assembly elections, endeavors to give ‘Good Governance’ with emphasis on security for all, clean and pollution-free city with world class infrastructure and people-friendly accountable government.
1. Controlled vegetable prices in 30 days
2. 12 subsidised cylinders in a year
3. 30% reduction in power tariff
4. Clean & drinking water for all
5. Right to health; Universal health insurance cover
6. Trauma centres to be opened in all districts and mobile hospitals
7. Family clinics to give affordable health care, especially in rural areas
8. 25 medicines to be given free during life time
9. Accident insurance of Rs 4.0 lakh for VAT registered traders
10. State-of-the-art foot over-bridges for pedestrians and flyovers on busy crossings to make them signal free
11. More coaches on Metro train and multi levels of Metro lines to increase capacity
12. Constitution of ‘Atal Yuva Mission’ for youth welfare,
13. IT zones in Narela, Bijwasan and Najafgarh, employment to all
14. Integrated concessional Smart Card for students to be valid in Metro, DTC and feeder services
15. Economic criteria for student scholarships
16. Madarasa Board to be established; which was never established by Congress
17. Unauthorised colonies to be regularised, layout fee to be born by Delhi Government
18. Section 81 & 33 to be amended to regularise existing colonies in rural areas; Congress amended this clause to regularise construction in urban villages only
19. Laldora to be extended
20. Ownership rights to landless who were allotted houses in Bees Sutri programme
21. One self occupied house of a rural family to be exempted from house tax
22. Jahan Jhuggi, Wahin Makaan; ‘Atal Bihari Vajpayee Jan Punarvas Yojana’ for rehabilitation of slum dewellers in pucca houses with all amenities
23. Double storey and local shopping centres to be made freehold and their FAR to be increased
24. Sanitation & parking to be modernised with the assistance of experts
25. 24 hr helpline and special Commando Force for women protection under CM’s office
26. Single window facility for women entrepreneurs for paying Statutoty taxes
27. Support in working capital from Delhi Finance Corporation for women entrepreneurs
28. Crèche facility in Anganwadis to be started for working women from low income groups
29. Infant mortality rate to be brought down from 28 per thousand to 15/1000 in two years
30. Pension for differently abled, widows, destitute women and senior citizens to go up from Rs 1000/1500 per month to flat Rs 2000/ per month
31. Setting up of ‘Senior Citizen Commission’
32. Setting up of ‘Migrants Commission’ for welfare of migrants
33. Free cycle to newspaper hawkers
34. Allocating space to vendors for weekly haats
35. Battery Rikshaws to be brought under MCD; currently they are neither monitored nor supported
36. First time in India, setting up of ‘Public Safety Department’
37. Respite from environmental and noise pollution
38. Yamuna to be cleaned on war footing
39. Delhi’s cultural identity to be restored, Fine Arts to be promoted in big way.
Congress promises double-decker flyovers
p Double Decker flyovers, developing the National Capital Region as a Common Economic Zone (CEZ)
p Unified command centre empowered to take decisions on land, police and municipal governance
p Second shift in private schools, 1500 new government schools, more evening colleges and a health university with 5 medical colleges
p Free generic essential medicines and round the clock diagnostic facilities in all government hospitals
p Implementation of Yamuna Action Plan III, new interceptor sewers
p Subsidised pulses and edible oil to priority households, vending machine for ration through smart cards
p Better infrastructure in urban villages and approved regularised colonies, four lakh house for the economically weaker section, Ashray centre for labourers
p Subsidised water up to 40 kilolitres, construction of dams in Yamuna to store monsoon run off, piped water in remaining areas
p 2,600 MW more power, solar roof-top power plants
p Exclusive child friendly courts for trial of child related offences, more women force to be employed in police, gender sensitisation and training to police and government staff
p Central Parking Authority to look into parking problems, more elevated raids, mono rail, trams.
Delhi Jan Lokpal Bill within 15 days: AAP
p Delhi Jan Lokpal Bill within 15 days of coming to power, all public officials including the CM to be covered
p Setting up Mohalla Sabhas to facilitate local development
p Full statehood to Delhi.
p Free drinking water to the houses using water up to 700 litre, crackdown against tanker mafia
p Ban on entry of FDI in retail.
p Clampdown on hoardings that increases commodity prices
p Simplification of value added tax (VAT) structure to ease tax compliance for traders
p Rs one crore as compensation to defence personnel if they die in the line of duty
p Justice to Sikhs in anti-Sikh riots of 1984
p Reduction of power tariff by 50 per cent, audit of power discoms, end ‘raid raj’, consumers to choose discoms, rectification of inflated bills and electricity meters would be checked by independent agencies
p DDA, Delhi Police and MCDs to be free from the clutches of Central Government
p Citizen security force with special focus on safety of the elderly, women and children
p More courts and appointment of judges and if needed courts in two shifts
p Stopping sewage flow into the Yamuna by making treatment plants
p Multi-storied parking facilities, pavements on all roads, rickshaw stands, special cycle corridors
p Each citizen to get high quality healthcare, new government hospitals, health centres, all vacancies to be filled
p 500 new schools, new colleges for Delhi students, attempts to roll back FYUP
p Unified transport authority for holistic transport policies
p Regularisation of unauthorised colonies within one year, residents would be given ownership rights.