It is highly probable that the Municipal Corporation of Gurgaon (MCG) local elections will be held in March, as the ad hoc committee, MLAs and public representatives gave their consent to the new demarcation of wards on Thursday.
The ad hoc committee was formed to oversee delimitation of wards and consequent elections. Those present at the meeting on Thursday agreed to notify the new wards and the election date at the earliest.
Of the existing 35 wards, 34 have been entirely changed following a new demarcation by the ad hoc members, earlier this month.
Former councillors were contemplating to procure a stay order from the Punjab and Haryana high court citing discrepancy in the demarcation, selection of wards and the mayor’s post also being reserved in the upcoming municipal elections.
If the ex-councillors had approached HC for a stay order, the elections, pending since June, could have been indefinitely delayed. Hence, their consensus during the meeting is a crucial step towards ensuring timely elections.
The public representatives included Gurgaon MLA Umesh Aggarwal, former MCG mayor Vimal Yadav, former councillors Dalip Sahni and Gargi Kakkar, chairman of Haryana Dairy Development Cooperative Federation Limited, GL Sharma, and Bharatiya Janata Party’s Gurgaon secretary, Anil Yadav.
“Besides the issue of certain areas overlapping in two wards, the demarcation of wards with railway line and NH-8 as the reference will end the prevailing confusion and hence, has been approved by the public representatives,” Gurgaon MLA Umesh Agarwal said.
Former councillor of ward 30 and AAP member Nisha Singh, who was not a part of the meeting, has been critical of the demarcation process but she also approved of the development. Singh was of the view that the demarcation process should have started six months prior to the end of councillors’ term, in June, and alleged that it was intentionally delayed to suit the purpose of political parties winning the election.
“No councillor has an attachment or grasp over their ward permanently and should accept the new modifications. On paper, all procedures for the delimitation process have been done legally and a stay order on the matter will be futile. The possible notification of election dates is an important milestone as the public-appointed representatives (councillors) can finally be appointed,” Singh said.
Wards 1, 7,11,17,21, 27 and 28 are likely to be reserved for scheduled castes and other backward class. In the 2011 elections, wards 7,15,16,22,24,25 and 31 were reserved.
Councillors had earlier alleged that the proposed reservation of wards was done despite these not having a significant scheduled castes or other backward class population, and violated the Constitution and municipal rules.