Centre must announce civic polls schedule: Rai

AAP’s Delhi in-charge Gopal Rai

AAP’s Delhi in-charge Gopal Rai | Photo Credit: FILE PHOTO

Two days after it won the Rajinder Nagar Assembly bypoll, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) said that the Centre should announce the schedule for the civic polls.

The party’s Delhi in-charge Gopal Rai on Tuesday said the sanitation system in Delhi has crumbled and that the Centre has gone into “sleep mode” after unifying the three erstwhile municipalities of Delhi to create the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD).

Mr. Rai said Union Home Minister Amit Shah had told Parliament that the creation of the MCD would revitalise Delhi.

“I want to ask him [Mr. Shah] as to why the Centre has not yet handed the MCD even a single rupee’s worth of funding,” he said.

Delayed polls

The senior AAP leader said that just before the municipal election was due, the Centre decided to merge the three erstwhile municipalities sensing a probable defeat in the election.

“We demand from the BJP, especially the Union Home Minister, to conduct a time-bound delimitation exercise and announce election schedule in the MCD at the earliest. You can take your time but the people of Delhi need a solution. They have nowhere to go,” Mr. Rai said.

BJP reacts

Dismissing the allegation, Delhi BJP spokesperson Praveen Shankar Kapoor said the situation on the ground has improved with civic officials keeping a regular watch on the grievances raised by residents.

“The MCD is holding daily public hearings at its headquarters and at the zonal D.C. offices for one hour each. The situation on the ground is better than it was before the merger,” Mr. Kapoor added.

According to a senior official at the State Election Commission (SEC), no orders regarding the delimitation exercise have been issued by the Centre. The Centre is yet to decide which body will carry out the exercise.

“The precedent has been that the SEC carries out the delimitation but there is no provision that exclusively authorises it to conduct the exercise. The Centre may constitute a separate commission for this task,” said the SEC official.

Soon after winning the Rajinder Nagar bypoll by over 11,000 votes, AAP’s Rajinder Nagar MLA — Durgesh Pathak — had also challenged the BJP to hold the municipal polls at the earliest.

“I challenge them to conduct MCD elections. Delhi wants to get rid of the BJP completely,” Mr. Pathak said on Sunday.

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Printable version | Aug 14, 2022 11:49:10 pm |