The third anniversary of the Arvind Kejriwal government in Delhi, coming in the backdrop of bypolls looming in 20 assembly constituencies, saw the three lead political players virtually launching themselves into campaign mode, with the AAP government trumpeting its 'achievements', while rivals the Congress and the BJP attacking the ruling dispensation over its 'failures' in governing the national capital.
Reaching out to Delhiites on the occasion, Kejriwal and his entire cabinet took questions directly from the public. They took questions sent through Twitter, email as well as over phone, with the queries ranging from issues such as corruption, the odd-even restriction to curb vehicular pollution, women's safety and transportation.
Kejriwal spoke about his government's achievements in the last three years, saying, “We have done a lot of work in various fields. But the maximum work has happened in the areas of healthcare and education.”
With the core voter base of the party—unauthorised colonies—in mind, the chief minister spelt out the development work done in these areas while accusing the BJP-ruled regime at the Centre of trying to put roadblocks in the work being done by his government. “Put all our MLAs and ministers in jail, but please clear our files quickly,” he said.
The party has launched an aggressive outreach programme on the third anniversary of the Kejriwal government, and this is clearly with an eye on bypolls which are likely to happen soon in 20 constituencies after an equal number of AAP MLAs were disqualified for holding office of profit.
On the other hand, Delhi Congress brought back onto centrestage former chief minister Sheila Dikshit with the idea of highlighting the work done by her government during the 15 years that she ruled the capital, and compare that with the performance of the Kejriwal government. At a rare joint press conference with Delhi Congress president and bete noire Ajay Maken, Dikshit took on the Kejriwal government, saying it has been reduced to a “government of advertisements”. Together, Dikshit and Maken released a report card highlighting the “failures” of the AAP regime.
The state unit of the BJP has launched a week-long 'Jan Andolan', taking off from the AAP's idea of 'Jan Sunvais' to attack the Kejriwal government for not fulfilling its promises. “Delhi government held 'vikas yatra' on its third anniversary. They should have called it 'vinash yatra',” said Delhi BJP President Manoj Tiwari. He accused the Kejriwal government of making false claims on healthcare and education.
Tiwari said while the condition of hospitals had deteriorated, the much-touted Mohalla clinics suffered from lack of doctors and necessary infrastructure. On education, he said the number of students leaving government schools had gone up, belying the claims of improvement in their condition made by the Delhi government.