Both BJP and AAP want votes from Delhi's 4 million slum dwellers for schemes that haven't taken off yet

Shakur Basti slums next to the railways tracks in New DelhiBCCL

  • 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.
Elections in India’s national capital are set to take place next month and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) mantra strategy this time is to rescue the slums. Only it isn’t going as well they hoped.

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 areaNo of slumsTotal votersWinner (2015)Winning Party (2015)
Moti Nagar25,021113,378 Shiv Charan GoelAAP
Tughlakabad23,495103,087Sahi RamAAP
Wazirpur13,736111,591 Rajesh GuptaAAP
Model Town11,966104,312Akhilesh Pati TripathiAAP
RK Puram10,89496,298Parmila TokasAAP

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.

See also:
Delhi Election 2020: Here’s how you can apply for Electoral bonds to fund a political party

Delhi election 2020: Gopal Rai, a minister with multiple portfolios who likes to flash AAP’s ‘report card’ as he seeks votes

Delhi Election 2020: Sadar Bazaar, a constituency which is a ruling party bastion, is all set for a triangular contest