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AAP and BJP in a sessions war over municipal corporations

The special two-day session of the Delhi assembly that begins on Thursday will focus on the working of the municipal corporations

delhi Updated: Jun 08, 2016 23:51 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times
Delhi assembly,AAP,BJP
Municipal councillors protest outside Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s residence.(Hindustan Times)

The special two-day session of the Delhi assembly that begins on Thursday will focus on the working of the municipal corporations.

The government and the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) have both been targeting the BJP-ruled MCDs over alleged mismanagement and corruption for the past few months.

“The session has been called to discuss the issue of the lack of cleanliness in the city, which is solely the MCD’s responsibility. Since monsoons are upon us, the issue becomes all the more important, keeping in mind the looming threat of dengue and malaria,” said a government official.

The session is expected to see discussions on the government allocation for salaries of MCD employees and the corporations’ alleged failure to pay their employees.

“The government allocation has risen but there is still a large-scale mismanagement in giving salaries to employees. It makes one wonder why. This issue will be raised in the assembly,” said the official.

The AAP will contest its first municipal election in Delhi next year. It contested the by-poll for 13 seats last month and won five seats. The Delhi government and the MCDs have been at loggerheads ever since Kejriwal took office in 2015.

Read: PM, LG trying to create hurdles for Delhi govt: Kejriwal

On Wednesday, AAP’s Delhi convener Dilip Pandey said corruption in MCD was a big problem.

“The BJP-ruled MCDs have been constructing two flyovers for the past seven years. It has caused severe problems to the people. One flyover was supposed to cost R177 crore. After seven years, the MCDs got the urban development department to sanction R85 crore more. This is a clear case of corruption. Only 60% of the work has been completed so far,” Pandey said.

The other issues that will be raised during the special session is alleged mismanagement at MCD schools and alleged corruption by councillors.

First time after trifurcation, civic bodies to meet in a joint session

The BJP-ruled municipal corporations in Delhi have called a joint session on Thursday to discuss the shortage of funds and other issues related to the Delhi government.

The joint session will take place at Ramlila Maidan and coincide with two-day special assembly session called by the Delhi government to discuss the functioning of the civic bodies.

Ironically, the venue of the joint session -- Ramlila Maidan -- is the cradle of the Aam Aadmi Party, where it emerged from a protest against corruption led by activist Anna Hazare.

“There is shortage of the water and electricity in Delhi but the AAP government is focussing on carrying out its own political agenda. What about the sorry state of PWD roads? Where is the free Wi-Fi? What have they done about women safety? Has corruption been eradicated from departments of the Delhi government? No, yet the only thing they are concerned about is the MCD and the upcoming polls,” said Subhash Arya, leader of the house, South Delhi Municipal Corporation.

Read: BJP councillors stage protest outside CM Kejriwal’s residence

The municipal corporations have been facing a crippling financial crisis for the past one year and blame the Delhi government’s alleged deliberate attempts to starve it of funds for the problem. Civic bodies’ inability to pay its staff has led to strikes by municipal employees, triggering a sanitation crisis in the city.

“The joint session has been called to tell the people that while the BJP-led corporations have been trying their best to launch projects, they have not received any help from the Delhi government,” said Satish Upadhyay, Delhi BJP president.

First Published: Jun 08, 2016 23:51 IST