MCD Polls: To Counter AAP Offer, What Congress, BJP Think Will Woo Voters

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Delhi Chief Minister promised to abolish the residential house tax if voted to power.


New Delhi:  With the MCD polls less than four weeks away, political parties are ready with their lists of promises, subsidies and freebies. Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Saturday said the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) will abolish the residential house tax and waive arrears if voted to power in the Capital's civic bodies. He added that industrial and commercial house tax, however, will remain the same. The city already gets subsidised power and water supply.

Other parties, too, were quick to mock Mr Kejriwal and made their own announcements. The Congress, desperate to make inroads in MCD, has promised a rebate on commercial property tax.

Delhi Congress chief Ajay Maken said the AAP has not yet fulfilled its promises of "free WiFi, and marshals in DTC buses". "Mr Kejriwal is making a fool of people. 70 per cent of Delhi doesn't pay residential property tax," said Delhi Congress chief Ajay Maken.

Fighting anti-incumbency and corruption charges in the MCD, the BJP also accused the AAP of being opportunistic and made promises like providing subsidised food grains.

"How can they abolish house tax? Doing away with house tax will require constitutional amendment," said Manoj Tewari, BJP's Delhi chief.

The AAP, however, said there are no legal hurdles and they will keep their promises. "Like we halved electricity bills and gave free water to 12.5 lakh people, we will also abolish house tax," said Manish Sisodia, Deputy Chief Minister of Delhi.

Swaraj India, led by Yogender Yadav, former colleague of Mr Kejriwal, said, "When the party says that it will end deficit by abolishing house tax, they clearly don't understand the grammar of governance."

"If the AAP thinks that MCD can be run without taxes, why don't they announce that the state government will give grant to each MCD? Why make it conditional on AAP winning elections?" Mr Yadav asked. The party has promised a pollution and garbage-free Delhi.

Elections to the 272 wards in three municipal corporations are scheduled for April 23. The results will be announced on April 26.

(With inputs from agencies)


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