06/03/2017 9:54 AM IST | Updated 06/03/2017 10:29 AM IST

Kejriwal Takes A Leaf Out Of Mamata's Book, Promises To Turn Delhi Into London

What's with our politicians' obsession with London?

Anindito Mukherjee / Reuters
Arvind Kejriwal addressed a campaign rally ahead of state assembly elections in New Delhi.

Five years ago, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee came up with an ambitious plan of turning Kolkata into London. And to be like London, Didi decided what Kolkata needs is a ferris wheel.

It seems now Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal, also a great friend of Mamata's, has decided to take a leaf out of her book. On Sunday, in a highly emotive politically-charged speech, Kejriwal promised to give the city's civic management a makeover and make it "comparable to London within just one year if AAP wins the municipal polls". The polls are likely to be held in April.

He claimed his two-year-old government has done what the BJP dispensation in Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh failed to do in 10-15 years.

"In the assembly polls you gave us 67 seats but this time do not leave any such gap. If we win the MCD polls, we will spruce up Delhi and make it look like London within a year," he said.

Campaigning for the upcoming MCD elections in Uttam Nagar, Kejriwal sought to woo the residents of unauthorised colonies, places that lack basic amenities.

"We have also sent a proposal to the central government for regularisation of unauthorised colonies. The issue is pending before the Delhi High Court," Kejriwal said.

While he was promising a London-like place, a few residents of the area led by former Congress MLA Mukesh Sharma showed black flag to Kejriwal during his public rally. People raised slogans against the Chief Minister and burnt his effigies, alleging the work which began four years ago was not yet completed.

Kejriwal, meanwhile, showcased the work done by his party. "We promised we would reduce power and water rates by half, we did it," he said.

Delhiites are only paying Rs 1,370 for 400 units of electricity, whereas in Gujarat it costs Rs 2,700. In Uttar Pradesh, it is Rs 2,600 for 400 units and people in Mumbai need to pay Rs 4,000 for the same, he added.

Appealing to people to vote for AAP in large numbers, he said, "We do not have money to contest election. You (public) have to help us. One person should tell 100 people to vote for the AAP. We have to clean Delhi."

While Kejriwal, like Didi, promised a London in Delhi. He didn't say how he would do it.

The Bengal chief minister wanted to beautify the city to turn it into London. "In spite of a much smaller population than ours, Londoners could build such a beautiful city through proper planning. Even we can do so if specific plans are in place. Although our government do not have huge amounts of funds like that in London, I believe money will start pouring in from private players once the government takes a positive step towards beautifying the city," she had said. However, we are not sure how Kejriwal intends to turn Delhi into the city of the Big Ben.

(With inputs from PTI)

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