Change or challenge? Delhi’s MCDs get 255 first-time councillors out of 270
With a record number of new faces in Delhi’s civic bodies, parties plan to hold training sessions for the new councillors. Observers say it would be interesting to see how the first-timers perform and how they overcome delays in decision-making.delhi Updated: Apr 28, 2017 11:56 IST
The new MCD houses will probably have the maximum new faces when they will be convened after elections results were announced on Wednesday. Only 15 councillors from the last term have made it to the civic bodies this time while there are 255 first-timers.
There are 272 seats in the three municipal bodies, but the election was postponed in two wards after the death of candidates.
While the BJP did not repeat its councillors, the Congress also dropped 38 out of 82 old-timers while giving tickets for the elections polling for which was held on April 23. Of the 44 old candidates fielded by the Congress, only 10 emerged victorious. These are: Rinku, Abhishek Dutt, Aaley Mohammad, Seema Tahira, Prerna Singh, Guddi Devi, Shoaib Danish, Darshana, Chander Prakash and Neetu .
AAP, which made its first full-fledged entry in civic polls, was able to send four of its councillors who got elected in the bypoll held last year back to the civic bodies. They are: Ramesh Matiala, Rakesh Kumar, Mohammad Sadiq and Ashok Saini.
Besides, Krishan Gahlot who won the bypoll from Nawada on the BJP symbol, has managed to win the election again as an independent candidate. The party had denied Gahlot a ticket since he was an incumbent councillor.
Still, with 255 new faces ruling the three Corporations, observers say it would be interesting to see how the debutantes perform and duck red-tape.
According to Abhishek Dutt, second-time councillor from Andrews Ganj, it would be exciting to work with new colleagues. “But considering there is a tussle between the Delhi government and the municipal corporations over transfer of funds and distribution of pension, it would be difficult for the new Mayor, deputy mayor and standing committee chairman to cope with the situation. But being old hands, we will offer assistance to them,” he said.
In a meeting with the newly elected councillors on Thursday, the chief minister Arvind Kejriwal said that formal training will be given to new comers by a team of former councillors and MLAs. The BJP and the Congress have also planned to hold training sessions for their elected councillors.
“The idea is to avoid any confusion. The councillors would be told about their duties, responsibilities and how to coordinate with municipal officials for completing projects. The training will be done soon after the oath taking ceremony is held,” said senior Congress leader.
Municipal councillors have to not only deal with municipal officials but also coordinate with MLAs to ensure that development works are taken up in their areas. They also need to know the nuances of getting budget sanctioned for the projects and the procedure to spend the funds allocated to them.
“Generally, every national party appoints a group of senior leaders to guide the councillors in understanding the legislative and administrative works. Even in 2012 and 2007, committees were formed by the BJP to help the candidates in framing polices related to advertisement and hawkers. So, it would be wrong to say that new people will delay decisions,” said Vijay Prakash Pandey, former leader of the house, North Corporation.