They seem ever ready to take credit for development in their areas. But as the Delhi Assembly elections approach, political leaders are taking pains to convince voters they are not be blamed for any delay in public projects.
Delhi BJP leaders are trying hard to ensure people do not dismiss their assertions as politically motivated. Rather than using pamphlets criticising the government like they normally do, leaders have begun distributing copies of their “official communication” with the Delhi government on delay in payments and civil work.
Even party hoardings and posters are not being used for advertisements. They are instead being used to inform voters that BJP leaders are not to be blamed for delayed or stalled projects.
For instance, several BJP councillors who were inundated with complaints of bad upkeep of roads have erected boards that say: “This road has been transferred from the MCD (municipal corporation of Delhi, which has been trifurcated) to the PWD (public works department, a Delhi government agency). It is responsible for the upkeep.”
The responsibility of maintaining around 700km of roads was transferred to the PWD from the civic agency last year.
North Delhi Municipal Corporation leader Mahender Nagpal said he received many complaints every day about bad roads. “The residents criticised the civic body even after I told them that roads were not its responsibility. It was then that I decided to put billboards that would tell people that the PWD was responsible for the bad state of the roads,” he said.
Nagpal is not alone in using hoardings to set the record straight. His party colleague Subhash Arya is using hoardings to identify roads that are to be maintained by the PWD.
“The Delhi government blames the civic corporations on issues of sanitation, roads and flooding. The recent rain damaged roads in several areas. Residents blamed civic agencies for not cleaning drains,” the BJP core committe member said.
“I have put up boards telling residents that they should approach the Delhi government for such problems,” he said.
Rajesh Bhatia, a councillor from Rajinder Nagar, printed pamphlets that said he forced the public works department — an agency over which he has no apparent influence — to improve the condition of roads in his area.