2022 MCD elections: Challenges, opportunities ahead for 'the winner' AAP
Arvind Kejriwal-led Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) won the 250-seat Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) polls on Wednesday defeating the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). The win ended the 15-year stint of the saffron party in the civic body. However, the victory comes with new challenges for the AAP like garbage disposal, roads, and drains within localities.
AAP's 'Delhi Model' gains momentum
The victory gives AAP authority to reduce the size of the three massive landfills in the national capital, for which they have blamed BJP for years. Furthermore, schools under MCD will now demand for better education from an administration that boasts its model. This would, however, allow the party to strengthen its "Delhi model" that stands on AAP's performances in healthcare, welfare and education.
AAP to solve worries of MCD employees
Delhi witnessed strikes by MCD employees in the past several years over pending salaries. Earlier, AAP alleged that MCDs lost almost Rs. 70 lakh labor-work hours in strikes in 2021. One of the factors behind this was the conflict between the AAP-ruled Delhi government and the BJP-led municipal body for funds. With AAP, it will be a ray of hope for the MCD staff.
Managing MCD budget will be tough task
While Kejriwal's government often showed off an excess budget in the state since it came to power in 2015, doing that in the MCD would be a bigger challenge. The previous budget layout for the city civic body has been set at nearly Rs. 15,000 crores. However, the issue is generating remuneration mainly from advertisements, toll and property tax, conversion charges, and parking contracts.
Dependency on Centre's grants
During 2021-22, the MCDs (then divided) earned around Rs. 3,600 crore from various charges and taxes. Meanwhile, the estimated salary expense of the MCDs surpassed Rs. 9,200 crore. While the MCDs mostly relied on the tax shares from the state government and the union government's grants, it is still a challenge considering the Delhi government's ongoing fight with the Centre over central taxes.
Corruption stares AAP in the face
One of the biggest challenges for the AAP now would be making MCD corruption free. It's a massive task for the party after AAP's anti-corruption reputation took a hit amid the controversy over the Delhi liquor policy scheme, which led to the arrest of minister Satyendar Jain over money laundering. Furthermore, allegations of AAP's Punjab ministers demanding commissions from contractors aren't helpful either.