Voice of Urban Poor – Delhi Elections

Delhi is watching high voltage electioneering in kaleidoscopic colours. Political parties are promising comfortable lives for citizens. A quick analysis of manifestos and statements (put together) of leaders of political parties (AAP, BJP, Congress and CPI-M) reconfirms great similarities in thoughts (and actions?). Security and safety of ordinary folks specially women is on top of the agenda of every political party. If we believe the electoral promises, all problems related to  livelihood, housing, water, education, safety,  security, urban services would be solved after (any) new government takes over. Yes, it is true that if winner political party and its leadership follows its own promises , Delhi or any other city and state will become optimally citizen-centric. However, history does not encourage us to believe it. Let us hope this time things would be different as everyone is promising for a ‘Different Delhi’.  
But our hope can’t realize if we, the citizens, do not monitor and demand accountability. Thankfully national election is also approaching. It provides us golden opportunities to  sustain pressure on political parties for better serviced and safe cities so that lives of all citizens  become comfortable, productive and dignified lives. PRIA along with its partners is launching a National Campaign to highlight issues and challenges in ever neglected urban spaces of the country. It is important that ‘Urban’ become politically important so that urban policies and programmes are reviewed and redrafted for citizen-centric safe cities.  Let us come together to raise urban issues anywhere and everywhere to create a national buzz on Urban Governance and Urban development.

Comparative Analysis of the Election Manifesto/Statements of Political Parties-AAP, Congress, BJP and CPI (M)

With the prime objective of  presenting the manifesto to political parties contesting the upcoming Assembly elections PRIA and FIUPW on 10th of October 2013, organized ‘Assembly of Informal Urban Workers’ at ‘The Seminar Hall, Constitution Club of India’, New Delhi. In its demand vis-a-vis political manifesto PRIA and FIUPW presented the following issues:

(1)    Basic minimum needs including Livelihood and social security (employment guarantee), housing facilities with security of tenure, pension schemes, and right to education.

(2)    Proactive legislative actions which includes re-implementation of national Urban Transport Bill-2006; implementation of Street vendors’ policy (2009); and Unorganized workers social security Act-2008.

(3)    Institutional reforms which includes budget allocation and committees formation to implement appropriate policies’ and programmes for urban poor and formulation of appropriate policies for social security protection of employers and environmental concerns in urban settings.

Please find below an analysis of election manifesto and statements made by the different political parties’ office bearers. This note is based on reports available from parties’ websites and statements of their leaders as reported in media. Only AAP manifesto was available on their website at the time of preparing this table. So, data for other political parties are based on other documents available on their websites and also quoted news items in the newspapers.



Aam Aadmi Party (AAP)





Committed to have Jan Lokpal Bill in 15 days which will have the CM, ministers and MLAs under its purview. Committed to promote transparency through e-governance with an aim to cover 90 per cent of government services. Committed to promote decentralization of power. Committed to promote decentralization and devolution of power.

Public Participation

Committed to introduce Swaraj Bill and promote Mohalla Sabhas to decide on local governance issues. It already has Bhagidari Scheme. Committed to promote public participation. Committed to promote public participation especially of marginalized class on decision making.

Law and order

Full statehood to Delhi, police and law and order should come under Delhi government. Demands full statehood and centralized command structure. Also Free Economic Zone across NCR so that business and traffic can move seamlessly. Law and order will be Delhi government where more focus on public security with special focus on women and minors. Will promote Law and order properly specially in the critical situation like riots, and special attention will be given to minors.


Electricity bills to be reduced by half, electricity distribution companies will be audited. To set up fast track grievance cells to address complaints, increase power generation and promote solar power. No special remarks. No special remarks.


Committed to provide 700 litres of free water to every family. Those consuming more will pay more, opposes privatization of Delhi Jal Board. Committed to extend the subsidy to domestic consumers from current 30 Kilo litre per month to 40 Kilo litre per month, 3 new water treatment plants to be set up. Committed to provide sufficient water for all. Committed to provide Water for all.


Committed to provide good education facility in schools and 500 new schools to be opened. New law would be introduced to control profiteering by private schools and colleges. Introduce the option of second shift in all private schools to open a second shift and thereby creating at least 25 per cent more seats, 150 new government schools, 10000 new teachers. The seats in schools and colleges especially for girls will be increased and BJP is committed to make ‘DELHI 100% LITERATE state’. In all schools including government, private and other schools the 25% seats should be increased for poor children.

Education, particularly colleges

Committed to start new colleges for students. Committed to promote more evening colleges to increase seats by 30 per cent, University of Health Sciences with 5 medical colleges. Committed to increase Seats in colleges for girls. Committed to increase the number of colleges especially in labor-class colony and will promote cheaper and affordable education to all.

Security for women

Committed to establish Citizens Security Force. Push for police reforms, evolve mechanism for better cooperation with police, special training for police to handle crimes against women. Committed to Change the dynamics and ‘Power –relation’ and make the Delhi ‘safe Delhi’. Committed to mobilize community and CSOs on women safety issue, and improve the situation of fast-track courts, women police stations and women safety cells.

Welfare of schedule castes

Ensure use of SC component plan for the welfare of scheduled castes, and implementation of SC/ST and OBC reservation in Delhi government. Will promote Zero or low interest loans for entrepreneurs. Easy loans for self-employment groups (SC/ST, OBC, Minority), Rs 1800 per year for every child in school, scholarships. Will promote the welfare of backward class. Special focus will be given to socially and economically backward classes.

Minority issue

Ensure that false cases against Muslims are not registered; Bring transparency in the functioning of Delhi Waqf Board. Committed for modernization of Madrassa education, for example Haj house in Dwarka. Committed to improve the situation of minors. Committed to improve the situation of minors.


No especial focus on Housing policy. No especial focus on housing policy. Will promote land regulation forces in the welfare of public. Committed to improve the situation of housing under the RAJIV RATAN AWAS YOJNA and provide cheaper housing facility to all labour class.


Committed to fill all vacant government posts, provide better facilities to industrial areas and provide young entrepreneurs loans at low interest rates. Employment related acts are already in place. Committed to provide 22 lakh people specially youth and women employment facilities. Committed to Socio-economic security and providing employment guarantee to all people.


Committed to improve government health care facilities. New government hospitals would be opened to ensure Delhi conforms to the international norm of 5 beds for every thousand people. New primary health centres would be established. Public health care facilities will be improved. Public health care facilities would be improved. Committed to improve the health care facilities and stop the privatization of health facilities.


Committed to provide improved transport facility. No especial remarks. Committed to improve transport facility in Delhi. No especial remarks.

Proactive legislative actions

 Committed to ensure social security for unorganized sector workers; regulating wages and working hours of domestic’s workers; improving working condition of rag-pickers.

Street Vendors: licenses and fixed locations to be given to street vendors.

Social security related Acts are already in place. Committed to provide employment and social security to unorganized sectors particularly to Delhi villages (DELHI DEHAT). Committed to provide social security to marginalized section.

Institutional Reforms

No special remarks. No special remarks. No special remarks. Special budget allocation for Muslims and Dalits.

Environmental concerns

Committed to (a) promote sewage treatment and industrial effluent treatment to prevent polluted water from flowing in Yamuna; prevent encroachment on Yamuna river-bed and (b)Protect  Delhi Ridge by clamping down on encroachment; ongoing afforestation in Delhi; and  (c) Animal Welfare Board to be given enforcement authority, and not merely be an advisory body. Special provisions for Yamuna are already in place and will be further improved. Committed to improve the situation of Yamuna. No remarks on environment issue.

2 thoughts on “Voice of Urban Poor – Delhi Elections

  1. ramblinginthecity November 28, 2013 at 4:28 pm Reply

    No specific agenda for housing by any of the three major parties is surprising considering this is a significant issue in Delhi. Then again, why be surprised? Housing is one of the topmost concerns that regularly gets ignored by policymakers who shy away from its complexity.

  2. Miejski przegląd prasy | Res Publica Nowa November 29, 2013 at 12:08 pm Reply

    […] zgromadzeń legislacyjnych i kwestie miejskie stanowią ich istotny komponent. Terra Urban opublikowała zestawienie programów politycznych partii startujących w wyborach […]

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