The state-appointed ad hoc committee submitted a proposal of revised municipal wards to the Urban Local Bodies. The proposed changes mark a major overhaul of the wards, as only a few areas have remained in the existing wards, mainly in wards 1 and 35.
In its submission, the committee has earmarked the 35 wards with clear territorial jurisdiction. These changes have eliminated the overlap of wards between the assembly constituencies of Gurgaon and Badshahpur. Wards have also been redrawn in a manner that NH-8, railway lines and assembly constituencies act as boundaries.
However, certain areas such as Rajiv Nagar, Rajendra Park, Sushant Lok 1 and 2, Wazirabad, Ashok Vihar, sectors 17,22, 100 continue to be a part of two wards under the new proposal, which is likely to cause confusion. Areas that are divided by the highway or railway lines are under two wards. The repetition, though, had to be removed prior to the reconstitution of wards, as claimed by the ad hoc committee.
The committee that will conduct elections of the municipal corporation next year has also maintained the number of wards at 35, opposing the state government’s order to trim the wards to 32, citing the 2011 Census.
The report has also recommended that the number of seats reserved for scheduled castes (SC), other backward classes (OBC) and women candidates is maintained. Six of the 35 wards are reserved for SC candidates, including two for women candidates and two for OBC candidates. In addition, 12 wards are to be reserved for women and the remaining 17 wards are for the general category.
The committee members opposed the delimitation notification, which had reduced the number of total seats reserved for SC candidates to three (one for women candidates), 11 for women, overall, and 16 wards for the general category.
However, former councillors are contemplating to move the Punjab and Haryana high court, citing discrepancy in the reservation of wards.
The MCG is slated to go to polls in March following directions of the Punjab and Haryana high court last week. If the ex-councillors approach the HC and get a stay order, the elections, pending since June, may be delayed further. The main issue of contention among councillors is that the ad hoc committee appointed by the state government to oversee the delimitation of wards and consequent elections has reserved wards without adhering to the norms.
As per the councillors, of the 35 wards, wards 1,7,11,17,21, 27 and 28 are likely to be reserved for SC and OBC candidates in the upcoming elections. In the 2011 elections, wards 7,15,16,22,24,25 and 31 were reserved.
Councillors say that the wards proposed for reservation have been shortlisted despite these not having a significant SC or OBC population.
This violates Article 243 T (Reservation of seats) of the Constitution that directs municipalities to reserve wards based on the total SC and OBC population in a particular municipal area.
“The dates for the election will be announced after the report has been reviewed by urban local bodies. Upon approval, elections will be held at the earliest date,” Amit Khatri, additional commissioner of MCG, said.
In March, citing the 2011 Census, the directorate of urban local bodies notified a primary delimitation order under Rule 3 of the Haryana Municipal Corporation Delimitation of Wards rules for reorganising wards of the MCG.