BJP releases MCD poll manifesto, promises no new tax

DN Bureau

With an eye on victory in the MCD polls for the third consecutive time, the BJP today released its 'Sankalp Patra' (manifesto).

Manifesto (Sankalp Patra)
Manifesto (Sankalp Patra)

New Delhi: With an eye on victory in the MCD polls for the third consecutive time, the BJP today released its 'Sankalp Patra' (manifesto), promising not to levy any new municipal tax and work for a Delhi "as envisioned by Prime Minister Narendra Modi".

Taking a cue from Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, the manifesto, described by BJP leaders as the "charter of commitment", promised to provide meals for Rs 10 through the civic bodies.

The elections for the 272 wards of the three municipal corporations in New Delhi are due on April 23. The BJP, which ruled the unified Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD), had also won the three corporations after the trifurcation of MCD in 2012.

Delhi BJP chief Manoj Tiwari, who released the manifesto along with senior party leaders, including Union ministers Harsh Vardhan and Vijay Goel, said, "The sankalp patra embodies Prime Minister Narendra Modi's policies and the views of party president Amit Shah.

"We are committed to work for a Delhi of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's dreams after winning the corporation elections." 

The party promised that no new tax will be levied or rates hiked if it is voted to power. This comes in the backdrop of the Aam Aadmi Party's allegation that power and water tariffs will go up if the BJP wins the MCD polls.

"Kejriwal is trying to scare the people. We will neither levy any new tax or hike rates, nor allow anyone else to do it. We will strongly resist any such move," said Tiwari.

A scheme -- the Deendayal Antyodaya Rasoi Yojana -- will be launched and the civic bodies will provide meals priced at Rs 10, he added.

The exemption from getting building plans approved for plots measuring up to 105 square metres will now be extended to plots measuring up to 500 square metres, Tiwari said.

He also said the BJP will work for direct transfer of funds from the Centre to the municipal corporations.

Over the last two years, the BJP-ruled civic bodies and the AAP government had been engaged in a war of words over transfer of funds amid strikes by sanitation workers in east Delhi.

"The Delhi government has an annual budget of Rs 48,000 crore in which, the civic bodies have a share of Rs 9,000 crore. But, they received only Rs 2,800 crore. We will force the government to release the dues," said Tiwari.

Taking a dig at Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal for his allegations of corruption and non-performance in the civic bodies, he said, "He (Kejriwal) should sit in the parks of MCD and his cough, for which he goes to Bengaluru, will be cured." 

The manifesto promised a "transparent and corruption- free" rule. It also promised to regularise the temporary sanitation workers, digitalisation of citizen services, putting pressure on the Delhi government for regularisation of unauthorised colonies.

It also promised a Rs-10 lakh insurance cover for the students in the MCD schools, health cards for citizens, open gymnasiums, scrapping factory licences, promoting enterprises run by women under the Centre's Startup India scheme, special arrangements to address the problems faced by the people of north-east in the city.

It also promised autorickshaw and taxi stands with restrooms for drivers and issuance of licences to hawkers and street vendors under the Street Vendors (Protection of Livelihood and Regulation of Street Vending) Act, 2014.

The 27-page 'Sankalp Patra' devoted two pages to the party's allegations against the Congress and the AAP. (PTI)

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