Row over MP govt proposal to split civic body
Bhopal North and Bhopal Central are considered to be Muslims dominated constituencies, according to the notification.Updated: Oct 10, 2019 11:14 IST
The Madhya Pradesh government on Wednesday proposed bifurcation of the Bhopal municipal corporation evoking strong reaction from the opposition Bharatiya Janata Party, which alleged that the Congress was trying to divide the state capital on “communal lines”.
On Wednesday, Bhopal collector Tarun Kumar Pithode issued a notification seeking suggestion on the proposal to divide the BJP controlled municipal corporation, a day after governor Lalji Tandon approved an Ordinance allowing indirect elections for post of Mayor in the urban local bodies.
“The following list (containing wards names) is being published with an aim to divide existing municipal corporation at Bhopal into two parts without changing the outer boundary of municipal corporation, Bhopal,” the notification read.
As per the notification, of the 85 wards of the Bhopal Municipal Corporation (BMC), only 54 will be part of the corporation, while the remaining 31 will constitute the proposed Kolar Municipal Corporation (KMC).
The notification said the KMC will have half of Huzur, entire Govindpura and parts of Narela assembly constituencies which have BJP MLAs whereas Bhopal municipal corporation will cover wards from Bhopal North, Bhopal Central, Bhopal South West, which has Congress law-makers, and parts of Narela and Huzur assembly constituencies.
Bhopal North and Bhopal Central are considered to be Muslims dominated constituencies, according to the notification.
Reacting sharply to the proposal, Rameshwar Sharma, the BJP MLA from Huzur, said, “This is Congress government’s conspiracy to divide Bhopal in two parts on communal lines, which was never done after Independence.”
He said except some exceptions Bhopal had been a place known for amity and harmony among Hindus, Muslims and others communities but the Congress government wanted to communalise the entire atmosphere.
“The areas under Bhopal Municipal Corporation proposed by the government are predominantly Muslims dominated ones. It will have almost 85% Muslim population. What kind of message the government wants to send to people?” he asked.
Bhopal mayor, Alok Sharma, who is from BJP, said described the move as “unfortunate” and said this will hamper the growth of Bhopal.
“Bhopal being a big municipal corporation gets certain grants from the Centre on the ground of its 10 lakh plus population. It may lose the grant once it is divided into two parts,” he said.
Minister for minority minister and legislators from Bhopal North, Arif Aqueel, said, “Two municipal corporations mean more development in rural areas which would fall under Kolar municipal corporation and there would be two agencies working for development of the city instead of one.”
On the BJP’s criticism, he said the opposition party thinks only on the communal lines. “Their entire growth stems from communal thinking only, hence they are talking of communal lines,” he said.
State Congress spokesperson, Bhupendra Gupta, said, “The idea is to ensure division of resources between the two corporations. Creating new corporation will result in developing new areas for people to live in. This will result in development of new areas and burden of population on Bhopal being reduced considerably.”
As per 2011 census, Bhopal’s population is more than 23 lakh. The urban population is 19.14 lakh and rural 4.53 lakh. The elections in urban local bodies in Madhya Pradesh are to be held before January 2020.