New Delhi, 14 November
To make their presence felt, the Left Front has decided to contest on as many as 17 constituencies seats out of total 70 assembly seats in Delhi.
They parties have decided to take up issues such as water, health, electricity as well as problems faced by the poor and the working class in mostly the resettlement areas.
Consisting of four parties, the Communist Party of India (CPI) is contesting on total 10 seats, Communist Party of India (Marxist) on four seats, Forward Block on two seats and Revolutionary Socialist Party on one seat. The Left parties, however, also advocating for ‘changes in the policies’ as the solution to the most of the basic problems faced by the people.
Instead of claiming to form or help in forming the government, Left parties are contesting Delhi assembly polls with the view to ‘popularise’ the issues.
The constituencies Left Front is mainly contesting from fall in resettlement areas like Narela, Patpatgunj, Seemapuri, Palam, Chatarpuri, Chhatarpur and Okhala.
Asking why only 17 seats, CPI National Counsel Secretary, Ms Amarjeet Kaur said: "We have some organisational weaknesses in Delhi. Left cadres are not very strong in Delhi. And we don’t have money enough to manage votes like several other parties."
One of their main demands is the complete statehood to Delhi, so that the blame game and escapism between authorities regarding their duties and responsibilities towards Delhi’s public can be removed.
"The Delhi is divided between several authorities like MCD, Delhi State government and Central government which leads to blame games among authorities. Because of having lots of compulsions between several authorities, ultimately the common citizens suffer and keep running from pillar to post taking their grievances," said Ms Kaur, adding that both Congress and BJP are indulged into politics instead of providing civic facilities.
One of the major issues in their agenda is the water crisis in Delhi. Blaming Congress and BJP for the current water crisis in the Capital, CPI says that Delhi Jal Board, headed by the Sheila Dikshit’s government, and MCD, headed by BJP, keep fighting over the issue of drinking water but both allowed the irresponsible construction activities, water mafia etc.
"Delhi was rich in water resources. Out of the six lakes in Delhi, five are now dried up. Besides, there were several ponds and wells in the Capital. Those could have been taken care of. The ground water level has also reduced enormously," said Ms Kaur.
She added that water should be subsidised. "Water rates should not be that high. At least there must be uniformity and rational billing system. Those people having high income can be charged bit higher, but those living in jhuggis must get free water or at least high subsidies over that," she added. CPI is also firm on that water should not be privatised.
In electricity too, Left parties are with the view that a roll back of the current electric rates are needed. "It was the government of BJP which privatise the electricity and later Congress government too continued the same system. The government has already categorised the property rates. Then why can’t they do the same with water and power," asked Ms Kaur.
Ms Kaur added that instead of the common and needy people, the private companies are getting subsidies.
In the field of education, Left Front thinks budget needs to be increased in this sector and also there must be government’s intervention, as there is lack of even basic facilities in schools, specially managed by MCD. Health sector is also a major issue for them in the upcoming elections where the alliance thinks that there are very limited facilities in the hospitals and due to that patients and also the people working in this sector suffer.
"There is a huge violation of the wage law in this sector and most of the workmen, including nurses, are underpaid and forced to live in bad conditions," said a party member. Security, specially for women, is another main issue in the list of the alliance.
Huge price rise too is an issue for the Left Front, but they want change in policies. The alliance says that if necessary, they can increase or decrease the number of the seats before closing of nomination process.