Even as her rivals within the party are claiming that the division of MCD may cost the Congress dearly in the 2012 municipal elections, chief minister Sheila Dikshit seems to have made up her mind to go ahead with the Cabinet’s decision.
Sources, however, said the proposal could be slightly tweaked to accommodate the demands of some disgruntled MLAs.
Apart from dividing the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) into five parts, the Ashok Kumar Walia Committee has proposed increase in number of MCD councillors from 272 to 408, reservation of 50% seats for women and formation of Municipal Management Council under the chairmanship of chief minister to oversee the working of all the five municipal bodies.
Sources said the rival MLAs have problem with 50% reservation of seats for women and formation of Municipal Management Council with all the powers to the chief minister.
“There may be some changes in these two proposals. (But) Nothing is final yet,” a highly placed Congress source said,.
In an informal meeting on Monday morning, the Delhi Cabinet once again decided to go ahead with its April 6 decision to divide the civic body in five smaller parts.
Sources said Sheila Dikshit gave a detailed briefing of the Cabinet proposal to the Congress general secretary and in-charge of Delhi affairs, Chaudhary Birendra Singh at her residence on Monday evening.
“Various aspects of the proposal were once again discussed and party general secretary was given a detailed presentation. The proposal will be soon approved formally and sent to the Union home ministry,” a senior Congress leader close to the chief minister said.
Apart from her Cabinet colleagues, the meeting was also attended by chief secretary PK Tripathi, former chief secretary Rakesh Mehta, delimitation commissioner SP Marwah and former IAS and expert on municipal matters K Dharmarajan were also there.
“The division of MCD has always been our agenda. All these MLAs had appreciated the Virendra Prakash Committee report on MCD division in a specially convened Assembly session in June 2001. In fact, the then Delhi Pradesh Congress Committee president Subhash Chopra was the first one to speak in favour of the proposal and Desh Bandhu Committee was formed for its early implementation. Present DPCC president Jai Prakash Aggarwal was the chairman of the manifesto committee when division of MCD was included in party manifesto in 2003,” a senior Congress leader close to Sheila Dikshit said.