The AAP government in Delhi has received a rap on its knuckles after the Delhi state election commission directed authorities to remove the name ‘Aam’ from all the hoardings, billboards, nameplates and banners of Mohalla Clinics and from an express bus service the government had launched.
This comes in light of the model code of conduct in the National Capital Territory coming in force from 14th March for the the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) elections on 22nd April.
The AAP government had branded these two services as Aam Aadmi Mohalla Clinics and Aam Aadmi Bypass Express service, which sound close to the political party’s name. It was dubbed as a violation of the model code of conduct as the ruling party is not allowed to use its official position to gain unfair advantage.
BJP leader Vijender Gupta, who is also the leader of opposition in the Delhi assembly, lodged an official complaint in this regard with the state election commission on 20th March:
I complained to SEC of violation of Model Code of Conduct by AAP Govt.SEC seeks action taken report from CS & Municipal Commissioner. pic.twitter.com/kV0pKzljTn
— Vijender Gupta (@Gupta_vijender) March 20, 2017
The State Election Commission(SEC) in a letter dated 21st March directed the Chief Secretary, GNCTD (Delhi state government) and the three Commissioners of MCD to ensure appropriate action, and to submit a compliance report within 48 hrs.
The complain from the BJP claimed that the words Aam Aadmi were displayed prominently on the 150 Mohalla Clinics the state government operates in the state. On one of the clinics, Kejriwal’s photos were also affixed on the walls:
One Mohalla Clinic was also cheekily called Aap Ka Mohalla Clinic:
This isn’t the only time the AAP flagship Mohalla Clinic program has come under the scanner. Recently we had reported how the doctors in the Mohalla clinics were checking patients for as little as 27 seconds and also allegedly prescribing bogus medicines so that they could allegedly earn more.
The Aam Aadmi express bus service was launched by the Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC) in October 2016. This Bus service supposedly runs from the Uttam Nagar bus terminal to Sarai Kale Khan ISBT, connecting three National Highways; NH-1, NH-10 and NH-24. Apart from the inexplicable use of Aam Aadmi for a bus service, the phrase ‘express’ is also dubious as the bus crews are directed to use slower slip roads instead of flyovers.
One can see the name ‘Aam Aadmi’ vividly displayed on one such bus:
These moves to name public offerings in a way that promotes the party is reminiscent of the Congress’ modus operandi of naming every scheme under sun after member of the Nehru-Gandhi family, so as to possibly ensure people associate the scheme with the Gandhi family and thus the Congress party.
Finally on a lighter note, if this move of the SEC is opposed by the AAP leaders, they shouldn’t object if and when the BJP government at center comes up with a public park and names it Bharatiya Janta Park (BJP).