Staff Reporter

Legislators worried over delay in notifying delimitation of constituencies

NEW DELHI: The indefinite delay in notifying the final draft of the delimitation exercise for the Assembly constituencies has led to an uncertain situation in the political circles of Delhi. Fearing a drastic change in the profile of their constituencies, a large number of MLAs are reluctant to spend their funds leading to hampering of developmental activity and projects.

Highly placed sources informed that although the Delimitation Commission headed by Justice (Retd) Kuldeep Singh had completed the exercise of the 70 Assembly constituencies, it is yet to notify the final draft. The uncertainty is due to the inability of the Commission to come out with the final findings and put an end to the speculation on whether the present scenario will remain in place or a new chapter will commence with demarcation and notification of new seats. It is understood the MLAs are worried on what they should be doing during the next two and half years with their constituency development funds of what has been left of the Congress Government's rule that had rebounded to power for the second time in December 2003.

The MLAs are caught in a fix on how to go about the implementation of the development schemes in their present or proposed areas. "What is the use of spending money in areas which will be chopped of from our constituencies? It is better to nurture and invest in new areas of the proposed constituencies rather than pumping funds in areas that will be a thing of the past. But the delay in notifying the new constituencies and areas is causing a lot of anxiety and problems as a large number of developmental projects have been put on the hold for this reason,'' a Congress MLA remarked.

However, there are other MLAs who do not share the thinking of their colleagues and are investing in development projects in the present constituencies. "We do not want to be confined to one constituency. I cannot be discriminating against certain areas just because they are going to be taken away from my constituency. After all these areas are part of Delhi and I am going utilise fund with focus on welfare of Delhi's people and not any area or individual,'' Nationalist Congress Party president and Badarpur MLA, Ramvir Singh Bidhuri remarked.

Joining this chorus is the Poorvanchal leader and Congress MLA from Nasirpur, Mahabal Mishra. "I continue to allocate money for development works in various parts of my constituency irrespective of the fact they are going to remain within my domain or not. The funds are for the people's development and there should be no discrimination in this,'' Mr. Mishra asserted.