The last day of the Winter Session of the Delhi Assembly witnessed a sharp division amongst the legislators on whether the beleaguered MCD should be divided in smaller parts. While several legislators wanted that the civic body be divided for better governance, some others said if a proposal to this effect were passed, the election process in MCD would come to a grinding halt.
The heated debate on MCD ensued on the Resolution moved by NCP state president Ramvir Singh Bidhuri. The MLA wanted the division of MCD in five parts for effective and time bound services to the people of the city.
"People in the city are suffering due to the misdeeds of the MCD. It is the civic body which allowed large scale misuse which has lead to sealing," said Bidhuri. The NCP leader gave a list of scams - CBI raids on MCD leaders, the mid-day meal scam, uniform scam, advertisement scam etc and pointed that the corporation has outlived its utility.
Taking a dig at DPCC president Ram Babu Sharma, he said, "When a baby monkey dies, its mother carries the dead body for months. Sharma is also carrying the body of the MCD even though he is MLA and DPCC president." He asked Sharma to move to the big league of politics rather than concentrating on strengthening his hold on the civic body.
Congress MLA Mukesh Sharma opposed the division of MCD saying there was "politics" behind it. "Some vested interests want the impending elections to be postponed," he alleged. At a time when the court's think that the entire mess of unauthorised constructions and shops in residential areas is due to the corrupt practices of the MCD, Ram Babu Sharma sang praises for the corporation. "This is one organisation which has served the people of Delhi well for decades," Sharma said amidst smiles all around.
Two Congress MLAs - Kiran Walia and TS Marwah, considered close to Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit supported the division of MCD. "The institution itself is sick, irrespective of who is at power," said Hauz Khas MLA Kiran Walia. Marwah said the corporation should be divided in seven parts.
Replying to the heated debate, Urban Development Minister AK Walia said this was not the right time to pass the resolution, as the election process of MCD has to be completed by April 7, 2007. He said DTC, Power along with Water and Sewerage which were with MCD earlier have already been removed from its jurisdiction.
The resolution was put to a vote after Bidhuri's insistence. As the government did not want to confront the anti-Dikshit MLAs, it insisted that the resolution be voted out.
Interestingly, CM Sheila Dikshit has maintained from the beginning that MCD is unwieldy and should be divided. The Congress manifesto for the 2003 Assembly elections also had the division of corporation in its agenda. Fearing that the political opponents of Dikshit, led by Sharma, would take advantage of the resolution, the government backed out at the last moment.