Both BJP and AAP want votes from Delhi's 4 million slum dwellers for schemes that haven't taken off yet
- The Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) are grappling over the less developed constituencies of Delhi ahead of the 2020 Assembly election.
- BJP’s Pradhan Manti Awas Yojana and AAP’s Mukhyamantri Awas Yojana are at odds with each other.
- The beneficiaries of these schemes account of nearly 4 million voters.
Last November, the central government announced that it was going to regularise 1,731 unauthorised colonies in the city. Once they’re legal, the BJP has a plan to put up 2 lakh houses under the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (PMAY-Urban).
However, their plans were undercut when the Delhi Chief Minister and national convener of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), Arvind Kejriwal, launched the Mukhyamantri Awas Yojana (MMAY) for slums or Jhugi Jhopri (JJ) colonies across the city.
On the surface, the parties are accusing each other of hampering development. However, it should be noted that the slums in question are home to nearly 40 lakh beneficiaries — known for being a major vote bank of the AAP.
Out of Delhi 70 assembly segments, slum-dwellers hold the decisive vote in nearly 28, according to a senior BJP leader. During the last Delhi Election in 2015, AAP was able to garner 95% of those votes — not to mention winning 67 of the 70 seats.
|Top 5 slum areas in Delhi and 2015 election results:|
|Assembly area||No of slums||Total voters||Winner (2015)||Winning Party (2015)|
|Moti Nagar||25,021||113,378||Shiv Charan Goel||AAP|
|Model Town||11,966||104,312||Akhilesh Pati Tripathi||AAP|
|RK Puram||10,894||96,298||Parmila Tokas||AAP|
Who’s been putting in the time?
BJP’s Lok Sabha MP, Manoj Tiwari, made headlines back in 2017 for spending a night in one of Delhi’s oldest slums as a part of his outreach mission. A trend he continued in 2018 and 2019.
However, a report by the Telegraph indicates that some slum dwellers feel that AAP is the new Congress — the former favourite before AAP existed.
“This was a Congress stronghold, no one else used to campaign here. We had high expectations from (Prime Minister Narendra) Modi but the only changes that have improved our lives have come because of Kejriwal. The AAP is the new Congress here,” a slum dweller told Pheroze L. Vincent.
As of now, Kejriwal’s certificates are just paper and BJP’s promise is just a ‘promise’. The construction of new homes and rehash of these colonies is yet to appear.
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