AAP-led Delhi government shrugs off elected RWAs
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AAP-led Delhi government shrugs off elected RWAs

The Delhi government attempts to replace elected RWAs with mohalla sabhas to serve its political ends.

AAP-led Delhi government shrugs off elected RWAs A mohalla sabha in progress

The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) that rode to power on strong public sentiment and belief that it would usher in a new system of governance is slowly losing its sheen, if the views of different RWAs are any indication.

What is more, many RWAs are complaining that AAP was ignoring the genuine representatives of residents and encouraging the party’s own mohalla sabha (neighbourhood committee).  

VK Jain, a member of East Delhi RWA Federation, alleged, “Since AAP came to power, RWAs registered under the bhagidari system are facing a tough time. AAP is trying to replace the bhagidari system with their mohalla sabha concept. It is being done to serve their political ends.”

Amit Agrawal, a member of an RWA in South Delhi’s Vasant Kunj area, said that though the concept of mohalla sabha had been rejected by the former lieutenant governor Najeeb Jung, AAP was still trying to instal it. “AAP is trying to set up its own system, which is why it is neglecting development work in existing RWAs,” Agrawal alleged.

The bhagidari system was introduced in 1998 to create transparency and accountability in the administration through citizens' participation via the RWAs. “Under the bhagidari system, officials from different agencies used to hold monthly meetings with the RWAs. Representatives of RWAs used to raise public issues at meetings. The last meeting of bhagidaris was held on October 18, 2014. But all this has become a thing of the past,” Agrawal said.  

S Vohra, president of RWA federation (East Delhi), said that people of the city are suffering because there is no channel for direct communication with the government. “AAP had made a promise that RWAs would be strengthened, but it has weakened the system after winning elections,” he alleged.