BJP released ‘Vachan Patra’ promising housing to all slum residents

Published on Nov 11, 2022 12:23 AM IST

New Delhi: Ahead of the December 4 MCD elections, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Thursday released a “Vachan Patra” (a commitment letter) promising slum residents a house in multi-storeyed complexes near their jhuggi jhopri clusters, just like the ones that were allotted to residents of Bhoomiheen Camp in South Delhi’s Kalkaji Extension recently

(from left) BJP leader Ashish Sood, Delhi BJP president Adesh Gupta and BJP MP Manoj Tiwari release the Vachan for the MCD elections on Thursday. (HT Photo)
(from left) BJP leader Ashish Sood, Delhi BJP president Adesh Gupta and BJP MP Manoj Tiwari release the Vachan for the MCD elections on Thursday. (HT Photo)

New Delhi: Ahead of the December 4 MCD elections, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Thursday released a “Vachan Patra” (a commitment letter) promising slum residents a house in multi-storeyed complexes near their jhuggi jhopri clusters, just like the ones that were allotted to residents of Bhoomiheen Camp in South Delhi’s Kalkaji Extension recently.

The party’s Delhi unit on Thursday launched a campaign in slum clusters across the city, asking residents to fill up their details in a form and handing them a copy of the “Vachahn Patra”, which was launched by Delhi BJP chief Adesh Gupta and North East Delhi MP Manoj Tiwari.

On November 2, Prime Minister Narendra Modi handed over the keys to eligible beneficiaries at Bhoomiheen Camp after inaugurating 3,024 newly constructed flats at Kalkaji in New Delhi under the “in-situ slum rehabilitation project”.The Prime Minister had given 576 families keys to their flats in Kalkaji Extension.

Speaking at the launch of the document on Thursday, Gupta said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi has fulfilled his promise of ‘Jahan Jhuggi, Wahan Makan’. “BJP does not make empty promises like the ruling Aam Aadmi Party in Delhi, which has compelled people to live in slums without any basic facilities such as sewer and clean drinking water. The central government under Modi ji has given 3024 flats to slum residents. We promise that similar flats will be given to other slum residents,” said Gupta.

Gupta added, “We will make the slum residents fill up forms and give them a letter of commitment that they too will get new flats. The DDA is constructing flats in Kathputli Colony and Jailorwala Bagh.”

AAP MLA Atishi said the BJP did not present a report card of its rule in the MCD while presenting its manifesto because it did not fulfil a single promise that it made to the people of Delhi in 2017. “How can the people of Delhi trust the BJP after it completely failed in running the MCD? Instead of growth, BJP has given three garbage mountains to the people of Delhi; it has become impossible for the people to live near the landfills,” she said in a press conference.

The BJP has made flats to slum dwellers as one of its key poll planks to woo residents in JJ clusters and unauthorised colonies which have decisively voted for the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) in the 2015 and 2020 assembly elections. The party is taking slum residents from other parts of the city show them the flats in Kalkaji Extension.

Hitting out at the AAP, Tiwari said, “We have a list of 10 guarantees given by the AAP during 2015 assembly elections. Arvind Kejriwal and AAP promised to provide 11,000 buses and 500km Metro network to provide last mile connectivity. We all know where this promise stands today. He promised to bring down the pollution levels. But today, Delhi is a gas chamber. He promised to make Delhi garbage free. But we want to ask him, did you support the municipal corporations in making the city garbage free? He (Kejriwal) keeps giving guarantees, but they can’t tell you when it will be delivered.”

Ashish Sood, in-charge of Delhi BJP’s election management committee, said, “This is for the first time in nearly three decades that slum dwellers have got a house near their cluster in Delhi so that their livelihood is not disturbed. The present government in Delhi and the previous (Congress) government have only promised housing to poor people, but it is the BJP which has delivered on its promise.”

According to Census 2011, 10.77% of Delhi’s population lives in slum clusters.

While there are 675 slum clusters in Delhi, 376 are on DDA and central government land. According to senior party leaders close to 4-6% of the total voters live in slums. The party is hoping that this will help it tide over the anti-incumbency and win a fourth term in the municipal polls.

Political analyst Tanvir Aeijaz, professor of political science at Ramjas College, Delhi University, said, “While housing is important for urban poor, it is not their top concern. Water, electricity, health and education are some of the main concerns for the urban poor. The timing of delivery of flats is also important. People understand that this is related to elections as the flats were given just before the polls were announced, and not all residents have got the flats. In 2020, the Centre had provided ownership rights to residents of unauthorised colonies. But it didn’t help the BJP win the assembly elections.”

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