Civic officials pin hope on councillors to elect Mayor, end uncertainty

MCD House to convene again today to vote for city’s next Mayor; haven’t been able to take major policy decisions as mayoral polls are yet to happen 50 days after civic election results, say officials

Published - February 06, 2023 01:40 am IST - NEW DELHI:

The Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) House will convene today, for the third time in the last one month, to vote for the posts of the Mayor, Deputy Mayor and six members of the Standing Committee. However, given that the proceedings have been derailed twice — January 6 and 24 — due to heated exchanges between AAP and BJP councillors, the House is likely to witness scenes of commotion again on Monday.

Passing the buck

Former Mayor of the erstwhile North Delhi Municipal Corporation, Jai Prakash (BJP), said that the party has remained insistent on completing the elections.

“However, AAP falsely claimed that the MCD’s executive wing had passed the annual budget discreetly. We feel that AAP will raise this issue in the House, which may lead to another disruption,” he said.

Senior AAP leader Durgesh Pathak denied the allegation while charging the BJP with behaving “arrogantly”.

Presiding officer Satya Sharma (BJP) said, “I had suggested holding an all-party meeting before the House meeting. But I have yet to receive a response on this.”

Amid the political tussle, the civic officials said that decisions on policy matters and planning for new projects are pending even as the civic body continues to reel under its poor state of finances.

“This is because the executive wing wants to avoid conflict with the ruling party, which may have its own plans as per its election manifesto. It’s a tricky situation as, even 50 days after the MCD poll results, the mayoral elections are yet to happen. Unless the mayoral polls happen, we won’t be able to take any major decision,” said the MCD official.

Last week, the Delhi High Court summoned the MCD Commissioner to make a personal appearance concerning the issue of pending salaries and pensions of the civic body’s employees. The civic body subsequently released ₹730 crore towards paying the dues up to December. However, another MCD official said that apart from the pending salaries and pensions, the civic body has not cleared several other pending arrears, including establishment and contractor liabilities, amounting to over ₹3,000 crore.

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