With Lok Sabha elections nearly a month away, sitting MPs from Delhi — all from the Congress — are looking for innovative ways to counter the 'Modi Magic' and the aggressive Aam Aadmi Party (AAP).
While Chandni Chowk MP Kapil Sibal has put up posters on battery-operated rickshaws and auto-rickshaws and huge hoardings across his constituency, New Delhi MP Ajay Maken is planning a series of advertisements showcasing his achievements as a minister in the Congress-led government at the Centre. The advertisements will be run on various FM channels.
A number of sportspersons including ace athlete PT Usha, boxers Mary Kom and Vijendra Kumar and footballer Baichung Bhutia will be heard appreciating Maken's work when he was sports minister in 2011.
While Sibal is the law and telecom minister in the current central government, Maken is currently a Congress general secretary.
While telephone calls and text messages to Sibal remained unanswered, Maken said he took various initiatives during his stint in the ministries of urban development, youth affairs and sports and housing and urban poverty alleviation in the past few years, which directly or indirectly benefitted the people in his constituency. He said his election campaign, which will start after his nomination is filed, will not just highlight the development work he did in his constituency but also several projects he took up as a minister.
"In each assignment, I was able to do a lot of work which benefitted the families of government servants and middle-class living in my constituency," Maken said. "I introduced the pay-and-play policy in various stadia of Delhi. Through the Sports Bill I tried to bring more transparency and accountability in sports in the country. I pushed through the Street Vendors Bill, which addresses a huge population of poor living in my area. I became the voice of the government employees in Parliament and was the first one to write to the PM to set up the seventh pay commission," Maken said.
Government employees form almost 35% of the electorate in New Delhi parliamentary constituency.
Maken also said that 60% of almost 53,000 government flats in his constituency were revamped for almost Rs 400 crore.