MCD polls: AAP asks Delhi voters to choose between Kejriwal and Vijender Gupta | delhi | Hindustan Times
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MCD polls: AAP asks Delhi voters to choose between Kejriwal and Vijender Gupta

MCD polls: Going back to its time-tested method, the Aam Aadmi Party on Sunday plastered the city with posters and billboards, posing a direct question to the city’s voters — Dilli ki baagdor kisko? (Who would you like to hand over Delhi to?) Arvind Kejriwal or Vijender Gupta?

MCD Elections 2017 Updated: Apr 13, 2017 07:06 IST
Vishal Kant
MCD elections 2017
Aam Aadmi Party hoarding questioning voters — Dilli ki baagdor kisko? Kejriwal or Vijender Gupta — at Shadipur bus depot in New Delhi on Sunday.(Raj K Raj/HT PHOTO)

Going back to its time-tested method, the Aam Aadmi Party on Sunday plastered the city with posters and billboards, posing a direct question to the city’s voters — Dilli ki baagdor kisko? (Who would you like to hand over Delhi to?) Arvind Kejriwal or Vijender Gupta?

The message, sources said, was an attempt to keep the discourse of the April 23 civic polls restricted to issues related to the city’s municipal corporations. The AAP is making all efforts to keep the fight ‘local’ beside making it a direct face off between Delhi chief minister, Arvind Kejriwal, and leader of Opposition in Delhi assembly, Vijender Gupta.

The party had resorted to a similar strategy during the 2013 and 2015 assembly elections too.

In 2013, Kejriwal was pitted against the then Delhi chief minister, Sheila Dikshit. In 2015, the party came up with similar posters, asking voters to choose between the then AAP national convener Kejriwal and the then leader of Opposition Jagdish Mukhi. The Bharatiya Janata Party had later named former IPS and a prominent face of India Against Corruption movement, Kiran Bedi, as its chief ministerial candidate in the last leg of the campaign.

AAP leaders said the electorate needs to be clear about their choices during any election. Pitting Kejriwal versus Gupta was an attempt to harness maximum premium out of the “political capital” Kejriwal has accrued after emerging as one of the top leaders in the city. The AAP chief has also made a big electoral promise of waiving house tax if his party is voted to power in the MCD.

“Let the people decide whether they want a change of guard in the MCDs under the leadership of Kejriwal, or want more of the same. Do they want the same old kind of MCD governance that Vijnder Gupta represents or they want a Arvind Kejriwal model of clean governance,” said a senior AAP leader.

BJP’s Gupta, however, termed the AAP posters and billboards as a “gimmick” that reflected Kejriwal’s “paranoia”. He also challenged Kejriwal for an open debate on the “real issues’ and the performance of the BJP-ruled MCDs and the Delhi government.

“The poster shows how insecure the chief minister has become. He should resort to fair play at least in the posters. He has put a smiling picture of himself, but a distorted one of mine. On the performance front, I challenge him (Kejriwal) to hold an open debate on our respective agendas,” Gupta told HT.

Gupta was once the chairman of the standing committee of the unified MCD. In 2013 assembly elections, he had contested against Arvind Kejriwal and Sheila Dikshit from the New Delhi seat.

Contrary to AAP’s strategy, the BJP — riding high on the popularity of Prime Minister Narendra Modi — is attempting to bring issues such as “nationalism” and party’s electoral surge in other parts of the country at the centre of the civic body poll discourse.