Municipal Elections are due in Delhi on 23 April 2017 and from that standpoint this post is very late. I have taken a backseat when it comes to politics and this post should be seen as an aberration. Someone dear to me told me to post it and hence this post.
Voting decisions depend on several factors. I am restricting myself to only one factor i.e.: strategy. My conclusion is as follows: In Delhi Municipal Elections, it would make strategic sense for a voter to vote for a party that is in power at the State Government as well. Due to the power dynamics of Delhi, it would be ideal that the Centre, State and Municipal bodies are held by the same political party. However, since this trinity is really like asking for the moon, a twin is preferable.
The basic premise for my argument is - shared functions and cooperative governance. The Delhi Government and the Municipal Corporations have several shared functions. I have had first hand experience with respect to pavements i.e.: pavements of a certain width are maintained by the Municipality and others by the Public Works Department. The Wire has published a detailed video of the shared functions (I have not checked its veracity). The video claims that the two bodies work in similar domains i.e.: healthcare, education, sanitation etc. The entire video can be seen here:
Anand Ranganathan rightly points out that "Municipal elections are ridiculous, an attempt to gain multiple power centres. You win a State, you should get charge of its municipalities." Effective work in a State/Union Territory can only be done if the Municipality and the State Government work in cohesion and cooperation with each other. Sadly, our politicians are not above their politics. The recent experience of Delhi is testimony to the same. I have no evidence to say this, but I will say it nonetheless - The Central Government (ruled by the BJP) has not let the Delhi Government (ruled by Aam Aadmi Party) work. In turn, the Delhi Government (ruled by the Aam Aadmi Party) has not let the Municipalities (ruled by the BJP) work. This discord has brought work to a standstill in Delhi. Like any political battle, the sufferers are the voters.
This discord can be avoided if the same political party is in power across power centres. For this, lets see when elections are due:
National Elections - May 2019 (~2 years from today)
State Elections (Delhi) - Feb 2020 (~3 years from today)
If my premise is true, if you vote for AAP (and if AAP wins), then you may get 3 years of cooperation between the State Government and the Municipality.
If you decide to vote for any other party (Congress, BJP, Swaraj etc.), then the status quo of discord will remain. But by voting for the same party in the State Elections in 2020, you maybe able to score 2 years of cooperation from 2020 to 2022.
To my understanding, the above are the two options based on the factor of strategy.
At the cost of repetition, this is only one of the factors that should influence a voter. There are a million other factors that a voter should keep in mind while deciding to cast her vote.
In the end, I must express my reasons for staying away from political writing (even if you are not interested in knowing). For me, all politics is now the same. I see all politics as inconsequential as no matter who comes to power, the same nonsense continues. The bottle changes but the wine remains. All parties and politicians employ the same tools to impress (nay deceive) voters. The swiftness with which political leaders shift camps only goes to show their convictions in ideology. Therefore, it is difficult for me to believe that any party or person will come around and save the scene. But this is just my view.
Good luck for tomorrow!
Image Source : https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/5/50/MCD_HQ.jpg