The proposal to divide the MCD into five separate entities, as approved “in principle” by the Delhi Cabinet, is not likely to be sent to the Centre any soon. With the Congress municipal councillors opposing the move and the state party leaders extending them support, chief minister Sheila Dikshit may find it tough to take the next step without giving due attention to the divergent views.
In the run up to their meeting with Congress president Sonia Gandhi, the Congress councillors had met top AICC leaders like Oscar Fernandes, Motilal Vora, Janardan Dviwedi, trying to impress upon them that the division of the MCD at this stage would affect them as they move into the election year. They cited the previous election’ result in which they lost majority due to the increase in number of wards from 130 to 272 following de-limitation.
There were reports that Ms Dikshit may try and hold parleys with the state leadership over the issue. However, as the state party leaders are understood to have already made up their mind to oppose the move, the CM may not go ahead too much on this issue.
The BJP, meanwhile, has decided to set the process for election of a new mayor in motion. The nominations will be filed soon. There are talks that the current mayor, P.R. Sawhney, may get a chance to hold the post again as the party may opt for continuity going into the election year. The party is keen to hold on its majority in MCD, the only electoral space it has in the capital. Asian Age