MCD polls: How BJP is planning an all-out campaign to take on Congress, AAP

The BJP, which has been ruling the Municipal Corporation of Delhi for more than a decade, has planned an aggressive campaign to take on its rivals.

After sweeping the civic polls in Maharashtra and almost snatching Mumbai from the Shiv Sena, the BJP has now set its sights on the Delhi municipal corporation.

The Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) polls are scheduled to take place on April 22, and the BJP, which has been ruling the MCD for over a decade, has planned an aggressive campaign to take on its rivals.

Besides the Congress, the BJP will also face challenge from Arvind Kejriwal's the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) which is contesting the MCD polls for the first time. A total of 272 seats in North, South and East Delhi Municipal Corporation are up for grabs in the election.

BJP's CAMPAIGN PLAN FOR MCD POLLS

Last week, BJP President Amit Shah appointed a team of five senior leaders to oversee and supervise the poll campaign. The team includes Vinay Sahasrabuddhe, Jitendra Singh, Nirmala Sitharaman, Sanjeev Balyan and Shyam Jaju.

"We are going all out for the MCD polls and have set a very high target for ourselves. Our triumphs in Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand have given a fresh impetus to our workers and volunteers and to add to that strength, we are bringing in big faces as well," a BJP source said.

Prominent among the big faces are Amit Shah and Union minister M Venkaiah Naidu who are likely to address a convention of polling booth in-charges at the Ramlila Maidan on March 25.

BJP's Delhi chief Manoj Tiwari was d by a Hindustan Times report as saying that he will invite Prime Minister Narendra Modi to address a rally in the national capital.

The party has also roped in Bhojpuri film star Ravi Kishen to woo the Poorvanchalis, who form a bulk of voters in Delhi.

The Phogat sisters, Geeta and Babita, too will campaign for the BJP in the run to the MCD polls, while talks with cricketer Shikhar Dhawan are yet to be finalised.

BEYOND STAR CAMPAIGNS, WHAT IS BJP PLANNING

The BJP's rule at the MCD has been tarred by allegations of nepotism and rampant corruption by its councillors. To project a fresh, corruption-free face ahead of the MCD polls, Manoj Tiwari recently announced that the party will not field a single sitting councillor or his/her relative for the upcoming election.

The decision took senior BJP councillors in Delhi by surprise but was believed to have the approval of the party's highest leadership.

"Zero-tolerance towards corruption, which is Prime Minister Narendra Modi's style of functioning, has to be our mantra in all party matters, including distribution of tickets," Manoj Tiwari said, while brushing off talks of discontentment in the party. "We are not bothered about the feelings of sitting councillors. We are answerable only to the public, not to the councillors."

Such sweeping decision in the BJP before the MCD polls comes in the wake of both the Congress and the AAP targeting the BJP-run MCD for corruption.

AAP chief and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has repeatedly attacked the MCD for having failed to implement Narendra Modi's flagship cleanliness drive on the ground. He called the MCD "a den of corruption" which doesn't even "issue a death certificate without a bribe."

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