Promising to transform Delhi into a “Smart City as envisioned by Prime Minister Narendra Modi” and conforming to the “views” of its national president Amit Shah, the State Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) released its Sankalp Patra (Commitment Paper) here on Sunday for the upcoming municipal polls.
In addition to announcing that it would not increase existing taxes or levy new ones, and make Delhi “100% garbage-free”, the party promised “good governance and transparency” by doing away with inspectors and a time-bound scheme to benefit hawkers.
A slew of populist measures — such as the provision of meals costing ₹10 for the poor, and welfare schemes for ex-servicemen, rickshaw drivers and labourers — also characterise the manifesto, which has also sought to extend “protection to stray cows” and dealing with stray dogs.
The 27-page manifesto was released by Delhi BJP chief Manoj Tiwari in presence of several senior faces from the party’s leadership, including his predecessor Satish Upadhyay who, according to sources, “has contributed to it significantly” at the Constitution Club.
Union Ministers Harsh Vardhan and Vijay Goel, star campaigner and actor Ravi Kishan, senior leader Professor Vijay Kumar Malhotra, Members of Parliament Ramesh Bidhuri, Meenakshi Lekhi, Udit Raj, Leader of Opposition in the Delhi Assembly Vijender Gupta and media in-charge Praveen Shankar Kapoor were also present.
“Delhi is mini-India. The municipal elections have a special significance and will decide whether the next five years will be years of administrative deceit and anarchy or of development as visualised by Mr. Modi,” Mr. Tiwari said.
“To others it may look like an election manifesto, but for us it is a commitment paper towards the people of Delhi. [Delhi Chief Minister] Arvind Kejriwal is trying to scare the people [through alleged propaganda]. We will neither levy any new tax nor hike rates, nor allow anyone else to do it,” he further said, adding that the BJP would spruce up parks in its jurisdiction to such a degree that Mr. Kejriwal could “sit in them to cure his cough instead of going to Bengaluru.”
The booklet, which is divided into three parts, begins with quotes from Pandit Deendayal Upadhyay, Atal Bihari Vajpayee, Mr. Modi and Mr. Shah, followed by a list of achievements of the three municipal corporations of Delhi under the BJP. This is followed by a 41-point charter for the future and the “corruption and nepotism sagas” of the Aam Aadmi Party and the Congress.
Other scheme-related highlights from the manifesto include the Deendayal Antyodaya Rasoi Yojana, under which the civic bodies will provide meals priced at ₹10, exemption from getting building plans approved for plots measuring up to 105 square metres to be extended to plots measuring up to 500 square metres and working for direct transfer of funds from the Centre to the municipal corporations.
An insurance cover of ₹10 lakh for students in civic-body run schools, promoting enterprises run by women under the Centre’s Startup India scheme. Toilets for autorickshaw and taxi stand drivers also find a mention.
Manifesto committee convener Pravesh Verma said implementation of the promised schemes would be monitored twice a year by the State leadership