The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) on Sunday accused the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) of ‘double speak’ on the issue of house tax in Delhi.
The Arvind Kejriwal-led party said the BJP had made a similar announcement to waive off house tax in residential and rural areas in its election manifesto for the 2007 municipal elections but is now opposing AAP’s poll promise.
“When Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal promised to discontinue house tax from residential properties in the city, the BJP severely criticised the move, saying the proposal can’t be implemented without amending the Delhi Municipal Corporation Act,” AAP (Dellhi) convener Dilip Pandey told reporters.
“In reality, they are just making a fool of Delhiites because in the last 10 years, neither the BJP was successful in implementing its own promise nor does it want the other party to extend such benefits to residents,” Pandey said.
According to AAP spokesperson Harish Awasthi, there are 50 lakh properties registered in Delhi and the municipal corporations had failed to tap 39 lakh tax payers because of their poor policies. “Surprisingly, the corporations have no record of property tax collected before 2013,” he said at the press conference.
The party highlighted the alleged “inefficiency” of the municipal corporations in regularisation of 131,807 street vendors in Delhi despite charging them Rs 100 for application forms.
“In 2007, on the Supreme Court’s directions, the BJP-ruled municipal corporation came out with a scheme to regularise new street vendors, weekly bazaar vendors and authorised tehbazaaris. It got the forms filled from more than one lakh vendors and charged R 100 from each of them but failed to give them any relief,” said Pandey.
According to AAP, the numbers of vendors had doubled in Delhi since then and they were being unnecessarily harassed by civic agencies and Delhi Police, who allegedly extort money from them.
“The Congress is no different. It came out with such a scheme in 2002 and got forms of R 10 filled from vendors. The AAP has now prepared a town vending policy which is actually designed well. If we win the elections, the party will surely work for the betterment of street vendors,” said Pandey.
AAP releases campaign song
As electioneering for the April 23 elections enters its last leg, the AAP launched its campaign song titled ‘Chala Jhadu, Chala Jhadu, Chala Jhadu, Aam Aadmi Ke sath milkar tu chala Jhadu (Join hands with Aam Aadmi Party to clean Delhi) on Sunday.
The song criticises both the BJP and Congress for alleged mismanagement and inefficiency in bringing in reforms in Delhi’s municipal corporation in the past many years.
Pandey said the song aims to infuse energy among the people of Delhi and party workers. “We will promote the works done by the Delhi Government such as free water and subsidised electricity through this song during the MCD elections” he said.