New Delhi: With the Delhi Assembly elections drawing close, politics over unauthorised colonies is heating up between the incumbent Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government, led by Arvind Kejriwal, and the BJP.
On Tuesday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted a clip from a speech and said the issue that has been plaguing the citizens of the national capital for decades has been solved by the central government.
For seven decades, the people of Delhi faced a challenge that our Government had the opportunity of recently solving. pic.twitter.com/56HJSCUwlE— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) November 26, 2019
On Wednesday, Kejriwal said residents of all unauthorised colonies should get the registration of their properties within three days of applying for the same (before the elections) and not just a handful of citizens as has been reported in newspapers, failing which it would seem that it was a photo op for the ruling dispensation at the Centre in the poll-bound state.
He said there was a very high chance that after regularising the properties of about 100 people, the Centre might ask the remaining citizens to get their work done after elections and later, tell them to come when the next election is due.
The chief minister said the BJP is not even in a position to ask for votes in the unauthorised colonies because of the “unprecedented scale” of work undertaken by his government and that explains why the former remembered the colonies “just ahead of the elections”.
“So much has been done in Delhi that the Assembly elections are being fought on the agenda of work... I feel, in the 70 years of independent India's history, this is the first state and this will be the first election that will be fought on the issue of work,” the AAP chief said at a press conference.
Listing the accomplishments of his government, Kejriwal said that while 309 of the 1,797 colonies got access to roads and water between 2009 and 2014 at a cost of Rs 811 crore, roads and drainage system came up in 1,281 colonies between 2015 and 2019 at a cost of Rs 4,312 crore.
Similarly, between 2002 and 2009, pipelines were laid in 45 colonies, while the number rose to 245 between 2009 and 2015. During the AAP government's tenure, pipelines were laid in as many as 579 colonies, he said.
There were sewer lines in 34 colonies between 2009 and 2014, while the number rose to 930 colonies during the last five years.
He said a sum of Rs 8,147 crore had been spent on all the work done in these areas in the last five years, whereas the total expenditure during the previous government on the same was Rs 1,136 crore.
The central government has introduced the National Capital Territory of Delhi (Recognition of Property Rights of Residents in Unauthorised Colonies), Bill, 2019, in the ongoing winter session of Parliament. The BJP believes this could be a game changer in the upcoming elections by eroding the AAP's support base in these areas.