After the dismal response in the municipal elections held last year, the city’s Resident Welfare Associations (RWAs) have decided to steer clear of contesting the Delhi Assembly elections.
Although they will not be in competition with political parties, the RWAs say they would continue to work as constituents giving guidelines for the elections.
“We have a different role in the society and by contesting elections we will become a part of the group that we have been critiquing. RWA members are citizens and if we become politicians then how will we get the developmental work done,” said Pankaj Aggarwal, general secretary, Delhi RWA Joint Front.
Many RWAs have already called up meetings to discuss the issue at length and create consensus on the issue. There are many members, who feel that municipal and legislative elections cannot be put on the same pedestal as both have a different subject matter.
“RWAs had contested MCD elections as the issues at stake were of civic kind and the RWAs were close to them. But legislative elections involves greater depth of the subject as it will require formation of laws etc, RWAs surely should stay out of it,” said Sanjay Kaul, president of United RWA Joint Action.
A number of RWAs have also voiced their concern over the fact that if a RWA member does contest the elections he or she would be divided over political lines. “RWAs have a defined role, by contesting the elections they will lose their identity. Rather than that the RWAs can jointly put up one candidate and support him/her,” said Rajiv Kakaria, member of Greater Kailash I RWA.
The RWAs in the city have been instrumental in bringing about a positive change, but their failure in the MCD elections held last year had put a question mark on the real support that they enjoy in the neighbourhoods.
“Many RWAs are planning to hold meetings wherein all the candidates can be put on a dais and the people can question them over certain issues,” said V.K. Arora, convenor of URJA, East Delhi.