MCD polls don’t seem to be happening before mid-2023
New Delhi, July 10 (Delhi Crown): After four months of directing the then Delhi Election Commissioner S.K. Srivastava to “postpone the announcement of MCD polls”, the Central Government has set up a 3-member panel to carry out the process of delimitation of MCD wards in the national capital.
Comprising of a Chairman and two members, the panel was set up as per an Order dated July 8, signed by Joint Secretary (U.T.) Ashutosh Agnihotri.
The panel has been asked to submit its report within four months.
Headed by Delhi Election Commissioner Vijay Dev, the panel also includes Joint Secretary at Govt. of India’s Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs Pankaj Kumar Singh, and Additional Commissioner at Delhi Municipal Corporation Randhir Sahay.
According to experts, the process of carrying out final delimitation of wards/constituencies (i.e. after accepting and incorporating suggestions from public/elected representatives), normally takes 6 months to one year.
In a surprising move at the 11th hour on March 9, the then Delhi Election Commissioner S.K. Srivastava had to cancel his press conference scheduled for announcing MCD elections, saying – “We have received a communication from the Centre after which we decided to postpone the announcement of the poll schedule. We will take legal opinion on the matter.”
The move came at a time when the final list (after rotation of SC/Women reserved wards) of MCD wards had already been released, and the prospective candidates from different political parties had carried out their respective election campaigns for weeks together.
Many of these candidates had already pumped in lakhs of rupees in their electioneering, even as large bhandaras was organised and liquor had started “flowing” for the voters….!
The move (of cancelling the MCD elections) had triggered a bitter war of words between Delhi’s ruling Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) and the BJP-led Central government, with the former accusing the BJP of “running away” from the MCD polls fearing a debacle after its 15 years of rule.
The BJP, however, said that the unification will rid the civic body of an acute financial crunch and improve overall administration.
In April the Centre had amended the “Delhi Municipal Corporation Act, 1957”, thereby unifying the three local bodies into one MCD, and restricting the maximum number of wards to 250.
As of now, the term of MCD Councillors has ended and there is no elected local body in the national capital.