With the duration of the House of the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) having commenced, major pending decisions related to new development works and improving finances may now see movement, said MCD officials.
After three failed attempts, while Aam Aadmi Party’s Shelly Oberoi won the mayoral poll, the election to the civic body’s Standing Committee members was interrupted amid protests by BJP councillors against Ms. Oberoi to refrain the House from using mobile phone during the elections. The election was yet to be completed at 10.30 p.m.
However, MCD officials said that even if the Standing Committee’s constitution might have been delayed, its powers will remain with the House and work can begin.
Ruling party’s task
“The major point is that this meeting has been completed, bringing the Centre-appointed special officer’s role to an end. This means that the House will have the authority to make decisions. This also means that the ruling party will have to act and take responsibility towards improving the poor state of finances, and similarly with pending decisions on development works,” said an MCD official.
Even after the results were declared on December 7, major decisions to be taken by the MCD’s executive wing were deferred, according to senior MCD officials.
The special officer of the MCD had powers to take such decisions, but a senior official said that to avoid conflict with the councillors, who may or may not agree, major decisions were not taken. However, day-to-day work of the MCD continued.
Even a few time-bound decisions, such as schedule of taxes, were pushed till the deadline day hoping the Mayor would be elected.
A shortcoming, however, is that the newly elected Mayor will be in office only slightly over a month, since the Mayor’s election is held annually, and the definition of a year – according to the Delhi Municipal Corporation Act 1957 – is one that starts from April 1.
“There will be fresh Mayor and Deputy Mayor elections in April, and this short tenure will not be enough for the Mayor to plan and execute the ruling party’s plans. Furthermore, the period starting from today to March 31 will be counted as one calendar year,” said another MCD official.
The official added that the party can renominate the same candidate in the fresh elections next year, and that the DMC Act does not prohibit the same.