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Last Updated : Sep 09, 2019 01:01 PM IST | Source: Moneycontrol.com

AAP’s Jan Samwad Yatra: What it means for the Arvind Kejriwal-led party

With this yatra, AAP is aiming to reach out to the people of Delhi and outline the public welfare work it has done so far

Nachiket Deuskar @PartTimeBowler

With an eye on the 2020 Legislative Assembly election, Delhi’s ruling Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) has undertaken a ‘Jan Samwad Yatra’.

The political campaign began on September 1 and is expected to run until October 3.

With this yatra, AAP is aiming to reach out to the people of Delhi and outline the public welfare work it has done so far.

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Delhi minister and AAP's state unit chief Gopal Rai is in charge of this campaign. As per the plan, the yatra will cover two Assembly constituencies per day. Meaning, Delhi’s 70 Assembly constituencies will be covered in 35 days.

"We are having a direct conversation with the public across all the 70 constituencies. This will be on till October 3. We want to have an open conversation with people about the work that the Delhi government has done. We are getting a good response so far. We have chosen 11 topics and questions which we are taking to the people," Rai said at a press conference earlier.

According to a report by Daily Pioneer, Rai on September 3 also invited Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders, including Manoj Tiwari, Vijender Gupta and Vijay Goel, to participate in the yatra and share their views on subsidised electricity and free water supply for the people in Delhi.

In the 2015 Assembly polls, AAP had bagged a massive mandate – winning 67 out of the 70 seats. The Arvind Kejriwal-led party had a vote share of 54.5 percent. BJP won the remaining three seats and had a vote share of 32.3 percent.

The Indian National Congress failed to win a single seat despite securing 9.7 percent of the votes.

AAP’s super-majority in the Assembly came mainly at the cost of Congress. BJP had witnessed a marginal decline in its vote share.

However, questions have been raised about the Arvind Kejriwal-led government’s popularity and its ability to retain a strong mandate in the next Assembly polls.

Connecting with masses after poll drubbing?

AAP and Congress were in talks to forge an alliance for the 2019 Lok Sabha polls. However, despite the possibility of arithmetic working in their favour, the alliance did not fall in place.

The BJP swept all seven parliamentary seats in the general election.

In what came as a shocker for AAP, its vote share was lesser than that of the Congress.

In the general election, BJP bagged a vote share of 56.6 percent. This was followed by Congress and AAP’s 22.5 percent and 18.1 percent, respectively.

Since the election result, AAP has been working to regain some of its lost support by rolling out a series of populist measures.

In August, the AAP government said it will extend its 100 percent power subsidy scheme to those domestic consumers who manage to keep their power bills to at most Rs 800. The government will also offer a flat Rs 800 discount to those who consume a maximum of 400 units of power.

Earlier, it was announced that people consuming up to 200 units of electricity will not have to pay power bills.

The Delhi government also announced waiver of water arrears for citizens having functional domestic metres residing in category E, F, G and H colonies. The chief minister said over 10 lakh people are expected to benefit from this.

In June, Kejriwal proposed to make metro and bus travel free for women in the national capital and the plan would be implemented within two-three months.

However, the Supreme Court has now told the Delhi government that it should refrain from giving freebies from "public money". The apex court also warned that it would stop them from doing so as courts are not "powerless".

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First Published on Sep 9, 2019 01:01 pm
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