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Monday, Sep 23, 2019

Ghaziabad civic polls: BJP woos voters with sops

The party, to woo shopkeepers, also promised a separate place for weekly markets and closed, GPS-fitted vehicles for door-to-door solid waste collection.

noida Updated: Nov 12, 2017 22:20 IST
Peeyush Khandelwal
Peeyush Khandelwal
Hindustan Times
Reena Bhati is BJP candidate from Khoda.
Reena Bhati is BJP candidate from Khoda.(Sakib Ali/*HT File)

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Sunday released its election manifesto, ‘sankalp patra,’ for local body polls and promised a host of sops such as free Wi-Fi, pink toilets for women, extension of Metro, AC buses and improved public grievance system.

The manifesto, the first of its kind by the BJP for civic polls, was launched at the party’s UP headquarters in Lucknow on Sunday. To woo voters in 16 municipal corporations across the state, it comprises 28 points related to cleanliness, better streetlights, grant of Rs20,000 for construction of private toilets and shelter homes for stray animals, among others.

“The manifesto includes various points for big cities and NCR cities. All points highlighted will be fulfilled and work is already going on for completing our promises in ‘sankalp patra’ rolled out before the assembly elections,” said Dr Chandra Mohan, spokesperson, UP BJP.

Sources said that area-specific points will be touched upon by BJP leaders and CM Yogi Adityanath, who is likely to visit western UP districts for campaigning.

The party, to woo shopkeepers, also promised a separate place for weekly markets, closed, GPS-fitted vehicles for door-to-door solid waste collection, tax exemption for kin of freedom fighters and martyrs, metro extensions, deputing MBA graduates as executive officers of local bodies and management training for present officers.

“Election manifestos are always full of promises but successive governments have failed to address our localised issues. This is why RWAs and apartment owners’ associations have fielded their candidates for the polls this time. Instead of a wide range of topics covered in the manifesto, we need parties to highlight local issues that are pending for long,” said Anil Sharma, president of Ashisan Upvan AOA, Indirapuram.

The civic polls have been a stronghold of the BJP. During the last elections in 2012, the party had swept the mayoral posts by winning 10 of the 12 seats.

The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) has also rolled out its manifesto. In Ghaziabad, the AAP is the second largest party with regards to the number of councillor candidates for the polls.

The BJP has fielded its candidates in all 100 wards of Ghaziabad while AAP has done so in 83 wards.

“Most of our development agenda is on the lines of Delhi. Apart from fielding 83 candidates, we have also got support from nine independent candidates,” said Dr Sachin Sharma, district convener, AAP Ghaziabad unit.

AAP’s manifesto comprises a host of promises such as waiver of house tax pending till October 31, 2017, free water, installation of water ATMs, mohalla clinics, women safety, public toilets and other civic amenities.

Residents said that apart from the manifesto, the parties should also look to select the right candidates.

“A majority of candidates have very less education. In fact, a local representative acts as a bridge between residents and government. In many cases, such representatives are unable to highlight issues and find it difficult to deal with officers. To improve their performance, the parties should also send qualified candidates for local body polls,” VK Mittal, president of Kaushambi apartment residents’ welfare association, said.

First Published: Nov 12, 2017 22:20 IST