As Aam Aadmi Party chief Arvind Kejriwal took out a roadshow in Shalimar Bagh on Wednesday ahead of the municipal corporation by-elections in ward 62N, almost all posters and banners had four faces: Kejriwal’s, the local MLA, the AAP candidate and one more.
Even during the roadshow, the jeep in which Mr. Kejriwal was travelling in had the candidate, multiple MLAs, and the same person: Sanjay Mishra, the candidate’s husband.
While the candidate, Sunita Mishra, was standing next to Mr. Kejriwal in front of the jeep, Sanjay was standing at the back and greeting people with folded hands.
“I am the AAP sangatan mantree of the Shalimar Bagh Assembly constituency and we both have been working for the party for a long time,” Mr. Mishra told The Hindu. He added that the ward was reserved for a woman candidate this year.
“We are focusing on cleaning the area and promising people to improve the MCD schools in the area, where basic education happens, if elected to power,” Ms. Mishra said.
Addressing people during the roadshow at Shalimar Bagh, the AAP chief said: “We have elections on Sunday, you all must go and vote for AAP. How many of you receive zero electricity bills? 24×7 free electricity has happened only in Delhi. We have worked to improve Delhi in the last six years by improving schools, hospitals, availability of electricity, and water. But the BJP has left the civic bodies in shambles. It is your responsibility to make AAP victorious in the civic bodies, together we have to change the face of the municipal corporations.”
Later in the evening, Mr. Kejriwal promised ₹100 crore for a sewer project at Bawana, where he took out another road show.
When asked how this time would be different for the party compared to the 2017 municipal polls, in which the party performed badly, Pankaj Gupta, National Secretary of the AAP, told The Hindu: “In 2017, we were still a relatively new party. But now people have seen the work done by the AAP government for about six years and they’re confident about the party. We are also sure about winning the election.”
He also said that the bypolls to the five wards will show the public mood before the municipal corporation election in 2022.
People were, however, split on whether the same party should be ruling the corporations and the State government. “It should be different parties so that they will point out shortcomings of each other,” said a 57-year-old Delhi Police officer living in the area.