Sujay Mehdudia

Notification for constitution of Delimitation Commission issued

State Election Commission chief S.P. Marwah to head the Commission Commission to submit report within four months The new Commission to have 11 members The Commission to take a fresh look on reservation for women and Scheduled Castes according to the 2001 Census

NEW DELHI: Ending months of speculation about the possibility of holding Municipal Corporation of Delhi elections on time, the Delhi Government has set in motion the process for delimitation of 134 municipal wards and holding elections to them early next year. A notification for constitution of the new 11-member Delimitation Commission has been issued to conduct a fresh delimitation of the MCD wards and submit a report within four months time.

The State Election Commission chief, S.P. Marwah, will head the Delimitation Commission.

The Additional Secretary (Urban Development), Madhukar, and Additional Commission (MCD), Raj Mohan Singh, are other two active members. There will be eight association members including former Minister Pervez Hashmi; senior MLA and Nationalist Congress Party leader Ramvir Singh Bidhuri; and Congress MLA Surinder Pal Singh Bittoo. Two Members of Parliament and three Councillors will also be part of the Commission notified by the Urban Development Ministry.

There were rumours in the city that in view of the unfriendly conditions prevailing for the ruling Congress, there would be an attempt to defer the MCD polls by six months.

However, the announcement of the new Delimitation Commission and the direction to submit its report within four months is a clear indication that the authorities are preparing themselves for holding MCD polls on time early next year.

According to Mr. Marwah, the Commission would go afresh about the reservation for women and Scheduled Castes according to the 2001 Census.

The entire exercise would lead to a new geographical configuration of the MCD wards for which boundaries will be drawn afresh.

The Commission would work with the Constitutional provisions in mind entailing 33 per cent reservation for women. Mr. Marwah said a communication had been sent to the Lok Sabha Speaker to nominate two MPs for the new panel and the Delhi Mayor for nomination of three Councillors.

He said the first meeting of the Commission would be held next week to start the new process. Mr. Bidhuri, who is also member of the Delimitation Commission for the Assembly seats, said he would work in close coordination with Mr. Marwah and his team to ensure that the exercise is completed on time.

The Delimitation Commission will take a fresh look at all the municipal wards and demarcate their boundaries with the new population figures in mind. It is likely that the municipal seats of a large number of Councillors will be changed for the 2007 MCD polls forcing a number of them to look for new constituencies to contest polls. Many of the Councillors feel this would upset their calculations as they had invested huge developmental funds in their areas with an eye on the polls and now with the proposed change in the boundaries of the wards they nurtured for five years all their effort will go down the drain.

It is understood that according to the guidelines issued by the Urban Development Department, the Associate members will have no voting power and in case of dispute the majority view among the three active members will prevail.