As Delhi elects a new assembly today, Hindustan Times brings you a ready reckoner for the Elections 2013. From how to vote and what documents to carry to the booth, we bring you the the big fights, main issues and all the poll statistics.
Three-time CM looks at a record fourth term
Many wouldn’t know that Sheila Dikshit – who is looking at a record fourth straight term in Delhi — won her first election in 1984 from Kannauj parliamentary constituency in Uttar Pradesh
Two years later, she was made a minister in Rajiv Gandhi’s cabinet. Dikshit contested her first assembly election in 1998 from the Gole Market Assembly constituency and became the chief minister of Delhi.
With her development agenda — reforms in power sector, introduction of compressed natural gas in public transport and several infrastructure development projects – she became a popular leader.
Riding on the development plank, added with her grand-motherly charm, Dikshit comfortably won the 2003 elections and made a hat-trick by winning the 2008 elections.
Activist-politician may spring a surprise
The man who is creating ripples in Delhi’s political circles was a successful Indian Revenue Service officer, a lucrative career he quit to take up social causes, especially to create awareness among the vulnerable sections about their rights.
After campaigning for the Right to Information (RTI) Act – he was awarded the Ramon Magsaysay Award for his work – Kejriwal initiated the mass anti-corruption agitation.
Under the banner of India Against Corruption (IAC), Kejriwal teamed with veteran anti-graft leader Anna Hazare to demand a Janlokpal Bill. After the team split, Kejriwal went on to form a political outfit, to “fight the system from within” and soon declared to contest Delhi assembly elections.
Last November, he declared the party’s name as the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP). This July, the party got broom as its symbol. Only time will tell if he manages to make a mark.
Hands-on leader wants to change BJP’s fortunes
Fondly called ‘Doctor Sahab’ by those who know him closely, Harsh Vardhan entered the political fray in 1993 when Delhi voted for the first legislative assembly.
Known for his hands-on style of functioning, he has always been considered to be quite approachable to the masses, even during his stint as the health minister.
The four-time MLA has held the position of the BJP’s state president and is known for his clean image and good administration skills.
A member of the Akhil Bharatiya Vidhyarthi Parishad (ABVP), the student wing of the Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh (RSS), he is strongly backed by the sangh. Senior BJP leader Nand Kishore Garg played a major role in introducing him to electoral politics and he was also very close to former CM Madan Lal Khurana.
Face of the BJP in the Delhi polls, the party banks heavily on him to make a comeback.
Your vote may help you rid of these problems
RISE IN FOOD PRICES
Consumer price inflation has been a worrisome double-digit figure for past many months. Since January, average retail inflation in Delhi has been 9.37%. Since January, average wholesale food prices in India have risen at nearly 11%. Prices of onions, vegetables and protein-rich items have risen fast.
LAW AND ORDER/SAFETY OF WOMEN
There has been a spurt in crime against women: Molestation figures jumped from 381 to 2,267 and rape went from 433 to 1,036 — mainly due to registration of more cases. Worryingly, even street crime is up with 1,174 cases of snatching as opposed to 823 in 2012.
Lokayukta has reprimanded Delhi govt many times. It passed an order against Dikshit for misusing government funds in an advertisement campaign ahead of 2008 Assembly polls, found her guilty of ‘misleading’ people on construction of houses for poor and found PWD minister guilty of protecting a resort owner from tax officials.
RISE IN ELECTRICITY TARIFFS
Power tariff rose by 22% in 2011 and 26% in 2012. In 2013, the Delhi Electricity Regulatory Commission recommended only 5% rise in tariff, probably because it is an election year. Both the BJP and AAP have been promising reduction in tariff by 30-50%.
SHORTAGE, QUALITY OF WATER
Delhi faces a shortage of 172 MGD despite DJB having improved its treatment capacity. Of the city’s 33.4 lakh homes, 75.2% get treated piped water and 6.1% get untreated piped water. The rest make do with wells, tubewells and lakes.
ROAD AND TRAFFIC CONGESTION
In the past five years, 13.6 lakh new vehicles were added to Delhi roads. Though the government built 25 new flyovers, 40 pedestrian bridges and added 800km network of roads, arterials roads continue to be choked with traffic.
LACK OF PARKING FACILITIES
The constant addition of cars means we need an area as big as 310 football fields to create space for these additional vehicles every year. And add to it empty promises of multilevel parking lots by civic agencies.
REGULARISATION OF UNAUTHORISED COLONIES
Of 1,639 illegal colonies given provisional regularisation certificates, only 895 have been regularised so far. But buying and selling of properties in these neighbourhoods is still stuck in legal hassles.
Since 2003, 10,16,828 people registered with the government’s employment exchange but only 11,242 got jobs. While 8,651 people got employment in 2010 due to jobs created by the Commonwealth Games, only 16 got jobs through government exchange in 2009.
SHORTAGE OF ELECTRICITY
Though there is no gap between demand and supply, power cuts are attributed to “local faults” which occur due to old transformers and cables. The capacity of the Transformers has not been augmented despite rapid urbanisation that the city has witnessed since power privatisation happened in 2002.
LACK OF AFFORDABLE GOOD SCHOOLS
Delhi govt hasn’t provided land on concessional rates in the past decade. Nearly 1.2 lakh nursery seats get over 4 lakh applications each year. The plan for second shifts in schools, approved by govt, hasn’t begun yet. Fee hike is a persistent issue and most committees haven’t tackled it effectively.
LACK OF AFFORDABLE HEALTHCARE
Bed strength of city hospitals is 44,300 (as per 2012 data) while Delhi govt hospitals have 10,643 beds. Bed-population ratio is 2.6 per 10,000 people. Pvt institutions cater to 80% of patients, of which 90% pay bills from their own pockets. Affordable health services accessible to only 20% population.