No 'honeymoon period' for new AAP govt; we're at work from day 1: Bhardwaj

AAP supremo Arvind Kejriwal takes charge as the Chief Minister of Delhi for the third time | PTI

Asserting that there will be no "honeymoon period" for the new AAP government, the party on Monday said significant reduction in pollution, cleaning of the Yamuna and ensuring deployment of 'mohalla marshalls' to boost women's security would be among the top priorities of the new Arvind Kejriwal-led dispensation.

AAP spokesperson Saurabh Bhardwaj also claimed that his party won because it was able to "puncture the narrative" of the BJP that "AAP is anti-Hindu".

"The Kejriwal 3.0 is at work from day one. There is no honeymoon period for the AAP government. We have spelt out the roadmap for the next five years," Bhardwaj told PTI.

Buoyant after being re-elected as the Greater Kailash MLA in the February 8 polls, he said the new government's aim would also be to meet the target of building a total of 1,000 mohalla clinics in this term.

Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and his cabinet colleagues took charge of their respective offices on Monday and asserted that they would work to fulfil the promises made in the "guarantee card" released during the poll campaign, including reduction in pollution and expansion of the metro network.

"One of the top priorities would be to tackle pollution in the national capital. We want to reduce pollution by 300 per cent in the next five years. Cleaning Yamuna river by creating a network of sewage treatment plants and interceptors and by reviving water bodies across Delhi would be also our top agenda," he said.

Bhardwaj asserted that the safety and security of women shall be augmented by deployment of 'mohalla marshalls'.

"Making Delhi safer and more secure for women is one of our top priorities and this will be done by extending the concept of bus marshalls to mohalla marshals. It was in our poll manifesto and this step will be implemented," the AAP MLA said.

The 'mohalla marhall' would be a security layer between police and citizens to help women and senior citizens feel safer, the senior leader said, adding that they would work in shifts "whole day and whole night".

Asked what favoured the AAP's return to power, he said in this election a large section of voters were those who were not benefiting from the subsidy, free electricity and water.

"The biggest example is the Greater Kailash constituency, where the youth of CR Park, GK-I and Alaknanda areas voted for AAP for the first time. Traditionally, this voter segment has been voting for the BJP for the last five years," he claimed.

It is not subsidy they voted for, but for governance, Bhardwaj said.

The AAP MLA alleged that during the campaign, the BJP attempted to "create a narrative that anybody other than BJP is anti-Hindu".

"Our party countered that polarisation.. It was difficult for them (BJP) to prove that Saurabh Bhardwaj, Arvind Kejriwal and Manish Sisidoa are anti-Hindu, because we are Hindu," he said.

"Probably, we were able to puncture the narrative that AAP is anti-Hindu... We were able to convince the people that one can be a good Hindu as well as not hate any other religion," the AAP leader said.

He said the BJP had huge resources, MPs, home minister and chief ministers who came during campaigning and "attempted to polarise voters".

"But we were able to counter and contain it. Had polarisation worked we would have lost it," he said.

Asked if the AAP at any point of time panicked, he said, "We could realise BJP trying very hard to polarise voters.. but no, we didn't".

"We always expected 60 plus seats," he said when asked what was the party's expectations from the polls.

Arvind Kejriwal led the AAP to a scintillating win in the assembly polls bagging 62 of the 70 seats, leaving BJP with just eights seats while Congress again drew a blank.



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