MCD unification not enough, remove BJP to improve civic bodies: Sisodia

Updated on Mar 26, 2022 04:30 AM IST

Sisodia said the BJP, which he called “the world’s largest political party” was “scared of losing elections to a small party” and accused the party of trying to evade elections.

Delhi deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia presents the outcome budget during the Delhi Assembly, on Friday. (HT Photo)
Delhi deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia presents the outcome budget during the Delhi Assembly, on Friday. (HT Photo)
By, New Delhi

Unification will do nothing to improve the health of city’s civic bodies as long as the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) governed them, Delhi deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia said in the state assembly on Friday, slamming the Union government hours after it introduced a bill in the Lok Sabha that sought to merge the city’s municipal corporations, even as leaders of the saffron party hailed the move as vital for Delhi’s development.

Sisodia said the BJP, which he called “the world’s largest political party” was scared of losing elections to “a small party” and accused it of trying to evade elections.

“Whether the central government decides to unify the MCD or trifurcate it, nothing will change till the BJP is in power in the civic bodies. Ten years ago, when the MCD was one body, corruption was still in place and unhygienic sanitation conditions prevailed across Delhi. When it was trifurcated, the situation remained the same. The MCD will change only when the BJP will be wiped out from there,” he said.

The BJP has governed the Delhi civic bodies since 2007, a run that has traversed the corporations’ unified and trifurcated forms.

The Delhi Municipal Corporation (Amendment) Bill, 2022 seeks to unify the North, East and South Delhi municipal corporations, a move that is likely to significantly delay the city’s civic elections (which were due to be held next month).

“This time, Delhi residents have made up their minds that they will bring [Arvind] Kejriwal in the MCD too. Every resident across Delhi is openly saying ‘MCD mein bhi Kejriwal’ [Kejriwal in the MCD as well] and this bill has been brought in by PM Narendra Modi to suppress the voice of masses,” Sisodia added.

“The Prime Minister is so scared of Arvind Kejriwal that he is interested in running the MCD instead of running the country,” Sisodia said.

Several AAP legislators, including Greater Kailash MLA Saurabh Bharadwaj, also slammed the Bill.

However, Ramvir Singh Bidhuri, leader of Opposition in the assembly supported the move and said it was important for Delhi’s development.

He accused the AAP government of deliberately withholding funds from the municipal corporations.

“The municipal corporations are being merged to ensure they do not face such problems,” Bidhuri said.

Meanwhile, BJP MLA Vijender Gupta said the MCD trifurcation, carried out in 2012 by the then Congress government, was done without any basis and was at fault for the civic bodies’ current problems.

“Unification is the only solution to the problems the MCDs are facing and the Narendra Modi government is doing it in the interest of the people,” said Gupta.

Bidhuri said that the Delhi government was adamant on funding the municipal corporations only as per the recommendations of the Third Finance Commission which ended in 2011 itself.

Delhi BJP chief Adesh Gupta thanked Prime Minister Modi for the unification bill, which he said was a demand of employees, officials and elected leaders of the MCDs.

“After unification the stalled developmental projects will get an impetus, as the corporation is lifeline of Delhi and Kejriwal had been conspiring to completely destroy it,” he said.

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