A two-day special session of Delhi Assembly begins on Wednesday to facilitate the passage of a Bill to split the Municipal Corporation of Delhi, currently controlled by BJP, into three smaller civic bodies.
The government is confident of passage of the bill without any difficulty as opposition BJP has already indicated that it would not oppose trifurcating MCD although the party had been critical of the move.
“We are confident that all the legislators will support the bill as MCD is being split to improve civic services and bring accountability,” said a senior Minister.
Accepting a long-standing demand of Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit, the Home Ministry had last week approved a proposal of Delhi government to trifurcate MCD ahead of civic polls in April next year.
Senior officials said the government will table the bill in the House tomorrow and voting, if required, will take place on Thursday.
After approval by the assembly, the Bill will be sent to President Pratibha Patil for her assent.
As per the proposal, the new civic bodies in North and South Delhi will have 104 wards each while the civic body in East Delhi will have 64 wards and a directorate of municipal services would be set up to coordinate functioning of the three new bodies.
The Centre has also approved the proposal for increasing reservation of seats in the civic body to 50 per cent from the current 33 per cent.
In pushing for trifurcation of MCD, Ms. Dikshit had to face opposition from within Congress with several leaders even going to party chief Sonia Gandhi to complain against the move. However, after many deliberations within the party and discussions with senior AICC leaders, it was decided MCD would be split into three separate bodies and the number of wards would be kept at 272.
North and South Delhi municipality will have 26 assembly constituencies each while the 16 assembly segments will fall under the East Delhi municipality.
Delhi Cabinet had in June approved the bill for division of the civic agency. The bill, along with a proposal for trifurcating MCD, was later sent to the Home Ministry for clearance.
Officials said the state election commission is likely to issue a notification in early February for civic polls in early April and the entire process of trifurcation will have to be completed by January.
BJP, which had been slamming the city government for trying to split MCD, on Monday indicated that it is likely to support the bill for trifurcation of the civic body in the assembly.
At a legislative party meeting on Monday, almost all the MLAs said the party should not oppose the Bill as the passage of the bill became an academic exercise after approval to the proposal by the Union Home Ministry.
They said BJP had itself demanded division of MCD in the past and it was mentioned in the party’s election manifesto for assembly polls.