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    Posted December 4, 2013 by
    Delhi, India

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    AAP Delhi Elections: The Voter Message

    The polling is over and there are some early projections from exit polls giving AAP 16 seats. The volunteers are headed home now. There is a sense that our message has reached the masses. Some of the common themes included local governance, power sharing, Jan Lokpal, free water, reduced electricity tariff, and security for women. We have managed to set the agenda for this election as well as outlined major areas of discourse for the general elections in 2014. As my friend, Pradip Datta, observes, AAP has done well in terms of setting the political discourse and drawing attention to the need for political reform.
    During our door-to-door campaign, we also realized that the voters also had a message for us. From the perspective of Delhi slum dwellers, there was a single message delivered firmly, clearly, and consistently: provide us basic public services so that we can live with dignity. In Metro Vihar, the largest resettlement colony in Narlea constituency (75,000 residents), the mood was one of despair and distrust but the message was still loud and clear. Garbage collection, open sewage drainage and paving/covering, drinking water supply, working public toilets are on the shortlist of Metro Vihar residents and several other constituencies.
    What are takeaways from this election. The Election Commission deserves our thanks for organizing an incident free polling with a record turnout. Democratic framework, economic growth, free flow of information are the great enablers for us. Rising corruption, acute disparity in income levels, and above all absence of basic public services are fueling public discontent and disaffection and need serious attention. Whatever coalition eventually governs Delhi, the improvement in basic public services to Delhi’ slums should be a top agenda area in the first 100 days of the next government.
    Attached are some pictures from Metro Vihar and the polling in Vishwas Nagar constituency.

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