Staff Reporter

Still sticking to MCD Standing Committee despite expiry of their term citing ‘sound principles of governance’

NEW DELHI: A clear indication of the politician’s reluctance to concede his status was on view on Monday with several Bharatiya Janata Party leaders expressing indignation at having to vacate their position as members of the Municipal Corporation of Delhi’s Standing Committee.

This time round, however, the reasons cited for their disinclination to vacate their offices were backed by sound principles of governance.

According to the present Standing Committee Chairman, Vijender Gupta, the Committee was constituted to keep a tab on the civic body’s executive wing and also facilitate a prompt redress of public issues.

“Of the 18 members of the Standing Committee, nine are expelled by a draw of lots every year and new members are elected to replace them. Six are elected from the various Ward Committees while three are elected from the House. Since this procedure is completed only after the Mayor’s and Ward Committees’ election, there is a hiatus period of a month-and-a-half when the Standing Committee is rendered dysfunctional. This effectively means that there is no check on the executive wing during this period,” he informed.

‘Can be allowed’

Mr. Gupta also said that since the present Committee members had taken oath on May 3 this past year they could be allowed to participate in meetings up to May since the DMC Act specified an annulment of half the Standing Committee on an annual basis.

The Congress for its part staged several walk-outs at a meeting of the House on Monday and threatened to take the matter to the Lieutenant-Governor if the BJP members delayed vacating their positions. According to Leader of the Opposition J.K. Sharma, it was a time-honoured tradition to reconstitute the Standing Committee by March 31 every year and then allow the new members to conduct meetings by May.

Mr. Sharma said he would even push for dissolution of the House if the BJP kept up its “mis-governance” any longer.

Perturbed over the commotion, Mayor Arti Mehra directed the Municipal Commissioner to take up the matter with the Additional Solicitor-General and apprise her of his view within the next couple of days.