Assembly Election 2020: Only The People Will Decide Who Forms The Next Government In Delhi

With Delhi elections coming closer, all the three main political parties are trying their best to woo the voters. The AAP chief Arvind Kejriwal seems very confident that he is coming back in power— because AAP says that they have fulfilled all the poll promises they made in the manifesto. But at the same time, what voters can recall is a continuous change in Aam Aadmi Party’s stand and temperament.

It is not only about going soft on PM Modi but also its stand on various issues. Not only Kejriwal but many AAP leaders like Saurabh Bhardwaj use very harsh language for their critiques. If we talk only about the work, then no doubt AAP has at least touched most of the segments of its promises—though not fulfilled them completely. But what about the ‘brand’ CM Kejriwal has gained because of its changing stand? Voters who see them as centrist or leftist are confused about what kind of party is AAP exactly. How long will Kejriwal’s survivalist nature and style of running a political party like a private limited company help him?

The AAP chief Arvind Kejriwal seems very confident that he is coming back in power— because AAP says that they have fulfilled all the poll promises they made in the manifesto.

Will Kejriwal change his stand on this as well? Why did Kejriwal prefer two new faces for Rajya sabha seats? There are endless names on the list who were sacked from the party for raising their concerns about the working style of the party. The list includes not only other politicians and founding members like Yogendra Yadav, Kumar Vishwas or Prashant Bhushan but also the office bearers from CM Kejriwal’s team.

Kejriwal’s anger on media is known to all; the way he handles tough questions is very different from other politicians. He follows shoot and scoot policy for media too; he starts claiming that media is biased if the question doesn’t suit him. The same media, if it praises Kejriwal, then he tweets the news praising the independent media. These days he is boasting about CAG report, but the day someone will question him about the objection of CAG on his sudden expenditure, he will say the CAG is biased. It is to be seen how long his shoot and scoot policy will help him, as most of the people will agree that his habit of leveling allegations has only tarnished his image.

AAP came to power with a different image, but there are n number of examples when this very party talked about Hindu-Muslims, their ministers and MLAs were caught with crores of money, and many criminal cases are going against them. When compared to Sheila Dixit, one main difference we can see is that AAP is still behaving like activists while Sheila Dixit handled all the situations tactfully without making much noise. She also had an issue with the Delhi Police, but the scene didn’t get so nasty during her tenure. AAP needs to understand that it’s time to grow up and remember respect is commanded and not demanded.

Kejriwal made several allegations against Sheila Dixit; nothing was proved, but she lost the election. AAP made a number of the allegations against Gautam Gambhir too but again, nothing was proved. But this time, the target (Gambhir) won the election because now people don’t take AAP’s allegations seriously. From EVM issue to water quality issue what AAP is doing is only leveling allegations, but they don’t back it up with evidence.

The way AAP’s leader Sanjay Singh is talking about NRC is very strange; it’s a move just to attract voters from some particular region or religion. How can a party like AAP raise propaganda? It is supposed to be a party with a difference!

Can AAP make a comeback in Delhi?

Pity politics on purvanchalis should stop whether it is AAP, BJP or INC; it is obvious that because of their large population in Delhi, people from Bihar and UP who were called rikshawalas or bhaiya in Delhi a few years back, now have a say in Delhi elections. Because of that, we can see an evident change in the strategy of all parties whether it is Delhi’s BJP president Manoj Tiwari or the role of Kirti Azad in INC currently. Even Ram Vilas and Nitish Kumar are planning to fight on all 70 seats because of this population only. Even AAP is trying hard to retain the purvanchali voters. And to appeal to this vote bank, all parties have started indulging in pity politics. Therefore, people from this region should be more careful while voting; they should not allow any party to treat them like a mere vote bank.

Another important thing that people of Delhi should be aware of is what comes under Delhi government and what comes under the Central government, so that neither the people can accuse Delhi government of the acts of the central government and nor the leaders can play the blame game on what comes under whom.

So, it is the mix population (people from all states residing in Delhi) voters of Delhi who are going to decide the super over of this Delhi 20-20. What we need to understand is that at the end of the day, we must choose the best available option, and politicians should remember that more or less (except few thousand new voters every time) the same voter changes their mind after every few years and brings a new party in power.

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An ambassador and trained facilitator under Eco Femme (a social enterprise working towards menstrual health in south India), Sanjina is also an active member of the MHM Collective- India and Menstrual Health Alliance- India. She has conducted Menstrual Health sessions in multiple government schools adopted by Rotary District 3240 as part of their WinS project in rural Bengal. She has also delivered training of trainers on SRHR, gender, sexuality and Menstruation for Tomorrow’s Foundation, Vikramshila Education Resource Society, Nirdhan trust and Micro Finance, Tollygunj Women In Need, Paint It Red in Kolkata.

Now as an MH Fellow with YKA, she’s expanding her impressive scope of work further by launching a campaign to facilitate the process of ensuring better menstrual health and SRH services for women residing in correctional homes in West Bengal. The campaign will entail an independent study to take stalk of the present conditions of MHM in correctional homes across the state and use its findings to build public support and political will to take the necessary action.

Saurabh has been associated with YKA as a user and has consistently been writing on the issue MHM and its intersectionality with other issues in the society. Now as an MHM Fellow with YKA, he’s launched the Right to Period campaign, which aims to ensure proper execution of MHM guidelines in Delhi’s schools.

The long-term aim of the campaign is to develop an open culture where menstruation is not treated as a taboo. The campaign also seeks to hold the schools accountable for their responsibilities as an important component in the implementation of MHM policies by making adequate sanitation infrastructure and knowledge of MHM available in school premises.

Read more about his campaign.

Harshita is a psychologist and works to support people with mental health issues, particularly adolescents who are survivors of violence. Associated with the Azadi Foundation in UP, Harshita became an MHM Fellow with YKA, with the aim of promoting better menstrual health.

Her campaign #MeriMarzi aims to promote menstrual health and wellness, hygiene and facilities for female sex workers in UP. She says, “Knowledge about natural body processes is a very basic human right. And for individuals whose occupation is providing sexual services, it becomes even more important.”

Meri Marzi aims to ensure sensitised, non-discriminatory health workers for the needs of female sex workers in the Suraksha Clinics under the UPSACS (Uttar Pradesh State AIDS Control Society) program by creating more dialogues and garnering public support for the cause of sex workers’ menstrual rights. The campaign will also ensure interventions with sex workers to clear misconceptions around overall hygiene management to ensure that results flow both ways.

Read more about her campaign.

MH Fellow Sabna comes with significant experience working with a range of development issues. A co-founder of Project Sakhi Saheli, which aims to combat period poverty and break menstrual taboos, Sabna has, in the past, worked on the issue of menstruation in urban slums of Delhi with women and adolescent girls. She and her team also released MenstraBook, with menstrastories and organised Menstra Tlk in the Delhi School of Social Work to create more conversations on menstruation.

With YKA MHM Fellow Vineet, Sabna launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society. As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

Read more about her campaign. 

A student from Delhi School of Social work, Vineet is a part of Project Sakhi Saheli, an initiative by the students of Delhi school of Social Work to create awareness on Menstrual Health and combat Period Poverty. Along with MHM Action Fellow Sabna, Vineet launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society.

As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

Find out more about the campaign here.

A native of Bhagalpur district – Bihar, Shalini Jha believes in equal rights for all genders and wants to work for a gender-equal and just society. In the past she’s had a year-long association as a community leader with Haiyya: Organise for Action’s Health Over Stigma campaign. She’s pursuing a Master’s in Literature with Ambedkar University, Delhi and as an MHM Fellow with YKA, recently launched ‘Project अल्हड़ (Alharh)’.

She says, “Bihar is ranked the lowest in India’s SDG Index 2019 for India. Hygienic and comfortable menstruation is a basic human right and sustainable development cannot be ensured if menstruators are deprived of their basic rights.” Project अल्हड़ (Alharh) aims to create a robust sensitised community in Bhagalpur to collectively spread awareness, break the taboo, debunk myths and initiate fearless conversations around menstruation. The campaign aims to reach at least 6000 adolescent girls from government and private schools in Baghalpur district in 2020.

Read more about the campaign here.

A psychologist and co-founder of a mental health NGO called Customize Cognition, Ritika forayed into the space of menstrual health and hygiene, sexual and reproductive healthcare and rights and gender equality as an MHM Fellow with YKA. She says, “The experience of working on MHM/SRHR and gender equality has been an enriching and eye-opening experience. I have learned what’s beneath the surface of the issue, be it awareness, lack of resources or disregard for trans men, who also menstruate.”

The Transmen-ses campaign aims to tackle the issue of silence and disregard for trans men’s menstruation needs, by mobilising gender sensitive health professionals and gender neutral restrooms in Lucknow.

Read more about the campaign here.

A Computer Science engineer by education, Nitisha started her career in the corporate sector, before realising she wanted to work in the development and social justice space. Since then, she has worked with Teach For India and Care India and is from the founding batch of Indian School of Development Management (ISDM), a one of its kind organisation creating leaders for the development sector through its experiential learning post graduate program.

As a Youth Ki Awaaz Menstrual Health Fellow, Nitisha has started Let’s Talk Period, a campaign to mobilise young people to switch to sustainable period products. She says, “80 lakh women in Delhi use non-biodegradable sanitary products, generate 3000 tonnes of menstrual waste, that takes 500-800 years to decompose; which in turn contributes to the health issues of all menstruators, increased burden of waste management on the city and harmful living environment for all citizens.

Let’s Talk Period aims to change this by

Find out more about her campaign here.

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A former Assistant Secretary with the Ministry of Women and Child Development in West Bengal for three months, Lakshmi Bhavya has been championing the cause of menstrual hygiene in her district. By associating herself with the Lalana Campaign, a holistic menstrual hygiene awareness campaign which is conducted by the Anahat NGO, Lakshmi has been slowly breaking taboos when it comes to periods and menstrual hygiene.

A Gender Rights Activist working with the tribal and marginalized communities in india, Srilekha is a PhD scholar working on understanding body and sexuality among tribal girls, to fill the gaps in research around indigenous women and their stories. Srilekha has worked extensively at the grassroots level with community based organisations, through several advocacy initiatives around Gender, Mental Health, Menstrual Hygiene and Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR) for the indigenous in Jharkhand, over the last 6 years.

Srilekha has also contributed to sustainable livelihood projects and legal aid programs for survivors of sex trafficking. She has been conducting research based programs on maternal health, mental health, gender based violence, sex and sexuality. Her interest lies in conducting workshops for young people on life skills, feminism, gender and sexuality, trauma, resilience and interpersonal relationships.

A Guwahati-based college student pursuing her Masters in Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Bidisha started the #BleedwithDignity campaign on the technology platform Change.org, demanding that the Government of Assam install
biodegradable sanitary pad vending machines in all government schools across the state. Her petition on Change.org has already gathered support from over 90000 people and continues to grow.

Bidisha was selected in Change.org’s flagship program ‘She Creates Change’ having run successful online advocacy
campaigns, which were widely recognised. Through the #BleedwithDignity campaign; she organised and celebrated World Menstrual Hygiene Day, 2019 in Guwahati, Assam by hosting a wall mural by collaborating with local organisations. The initiative was widely covered by national and local media, and the mural was later inaugurated by the event’s chief guest Commissioner of Guwahati Municipal Corporation (GMC) Debeswar Malakar, IAS.

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