AAP leader Atishi has claimed the BJP’s corruption charge against her party will not impact voters in the Delhi civic polls and challenged it to fight the election based on the work done in the MCD during its 15-year rule.
With the Aam Aadmi Party attacking the BJP over “waste mismanagement” and accusing it of creating ‘three garbage mountains” in Delhi, the MLA from the Kalkaji assembly segment said if her party winds the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) election, it will rope in international experts to reduce the legacy waste of the landfill sites.
The AAP’s 10 guarantees for the December 4 election announced earlier this month, included a promise to clear the three landfill sites.
Noting the MCD’s priority area is garbage management, Atishi said big cities like New York do not have any such landfill sites. “This means there is technology to control that (garbage). Segregation is an important process and it is important to find solutions locality-wise,” she told PTI in an interview.
Explaining the waste segregation process, Atishi said internationally, it comprises three steps — decomposing, immediate recycling and then 20 per cent of the garbage goes to landfill sites.
“On paper, the BJP-led MCD already has a segregation and decomposing process but the reality is very different. Internationally, waste-to-energy plants have been very useful around landfill sites. The BJP has opened only one waste-to-energy plant and that too a month before the elections,” she said.
Atishi said the height of landfill sites is not reducing because the waste being dumped there is far more than the waste being cleared from those areas. Opining that waste-to-energy plants and bio-mining have to be done systematically, she said that if voted to power in the MCD, AAP will focus on source waste reduction and segregation.
“This is our roadmap. Even in the Delhi government, we bring experts of national and international repute to the table. We will get experts from Singapore, New Zealand and China and apart from our plan, we will refer to the solutions they offer about waste management,” she explained.
Asked about the impact of the BJP’s allegation that the Arvind Kejriwal-led AAP was shielding Delhi ministers Manish Sisodia and Satyendar Jain who are facing corruption charges, Atishi claimed the voters are more concerned about what is happening on the ground.
“Voters know the truth, they are not fools. The allegations levelled by the BJP are not going to impact them. It’s not that the public can’t see through what’s going on.
“When we hold public meetings, there are people who say that Arvind Kejriwal is being targeted but we know that he will get our work done even if he has to put up a fight for it. Such is the impact that people know that their work will be done by Kejriwal,” she said.
The Delhi State Anganwadi Workers and Helpers Union have been running a ‘Boycott AAP and BJP’ campaign in the run-up to the polls. They even staged a protest at the opening of the AAP’s election office in Paharganj in the presence of Arvind Kejriwal.
“There is just a section of Anganwadi workers who are staging the protest. Delhi is the only place where the Anganwadi workers are paid the highest honorarium. We have always heard their issues and acted on them,” Atishi said.
Asked about BJP senior leaders and chief ministers campaigning for the party in the MCD polls, she challenged the party to fight the polls based on their achievements in the MCD during their 15-year rule.
“When Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal fought the 2020 Delhi Assembly elections, he told people, ‘Vote for me, only if you feel I have worked for you’. If they (BJP) have the guts, they should tell people, ‘Vote for us for the 15 years that we have worked for you in MCD’.
“They cannot do that which is why they are bringing their big leaders. But voters want that their roads clean, garbage picked up timely and no stray animal menace,” she said.
The AAP’s campaign will go full-throttle from November 23 with its star campaigners holding 250 public meetings in as many wards of the MCD in four days, Atishi added.
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