Former UP CM Akhilesh Yadav, his wife Dimple Yadav and Rajya Sabha member Jaya Bachchan are among the Samajwadi Party's star campaigners for the April 24 MCD polls. The SP announced this today, days after throwing its hat in the ring for the municipal elections due on April 23, despite suffering a debacle in the recent Assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh.
"76 party leaders are in the first list of top campaigners for the MCD polls. Our party chief Akhilesh Yadav, Dimple Yadav, Jaya Bachchan, general secretary Ram Gopal Yadav, and several SP MPs, MLAs, MLCs and member of the nationale executive will be campaigning for our candidates," party's Delhi unit chief Usha Yadav said.
Incidentally, BJP has lined up UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath for the campaigning among other star campaigners. Congress too has fronted its big guns to prepare its ground. SP and Congress, which had entered the fray in alliance, in the recent state Assembly polls in Uttar Pradesh, could manage only 54 out of the total 403 seats.
The party targets to field candidates on all 272 seats and Usha said, "our first list of candidates would be out soon". The high-stakes civic polls was initially seen as a three-cornered contest among the ruling BJP, Congress and AAP, but JD(U) and BSP have also entered the political battleground.
The Delhi unit chief of SP alleged the three BJP-led municipal corporations have been mired in corruption for a decade and people in Delhi are looking for an alternative. "Congress and AAP both have cheated people, and we hope people will warm up to our pro-poor and pro-development agenda," she claimed.
Asked if the Akhilesh Yadav-led party would be seeking to woo the Poorvanchali community in the civic polls, she said, "We are not targeting any particular caste or community, we will fight on the growth plank." While, all three major parties, BJP, Congress and AAP are claiming an upper hand, new entrants JD(U) and BSP have also exuded confidence.
The Janata Dal (U) hopes to woo Purvanchali voters riding on Chief Minister Nitish Kumar government's "good governance" model. JD(U) also seeks to reach out to the Sikh community based on the goodwill earned from the community for organising 'Prakash Parv' -- Guru Gobind Singh's 350th anniversary in Patna in January.
The BJP has been ruling the MCD since 2007. The last polls were held in 2012. The much-awaited polls will decide the fate of 272 councillors. While NDMC and SMDC have 104 seats each, EDMC has 64 seats.