Parliament passes bill to reunify 3 Delhi corporations after 10 years | India News

NEW DELHI: The Rajya Sabha on Tuesday passed by voice vote the Delhi Municipal Corporation (Amendment) Bill, 2022 clearing the way for the merger of the three municipal bodies in the capital 10 years after they were carved out of the then Municipal Corporation of Delhi.
Piloting the bill, which was cleared by the Lok Sabha last week and will now be sent to the President for his assent in order to become law, Union home minister Amit Shah said that the revived MCD, proposed to have 250 wards, will be headed by an administrator who will not be a politician.
The debate saw opposition parties — AAP, Congress, Trinamool, DMK, CPM, Samajwadi Party and RJD — attacking the bill alleging that it was meant to delay the polls for the three MCDs which BJP was scared of losing. AAP’s Sanjay Singh said the bill should be renamed as “Kejriwal-phobia” bill as it was meant to prevent AAP from coming to power, while Congress’s Abhishek Manu Singhvi termed it as “constitutionally suspect, legally untenable, administratively blunderous and politically hypocritical”.
YSR Congress, AIADMK, Tamil Maanila Congress supported the bill.
Shah rebutted the charges, saying that the splintering of the MCDs was arbitrary and effected in a haphazard way, and accused the Kejriwal government of pursuing a “step-motherly” approach towards the three BJP-governed corporations so that they get discredited in the public eye and AAP gets to control the municipal bodies. “You have a problem with BJP but you took it out on the people of Delhi by neither giving them funds, nor allowing them to raise resources on their own. Do you think people cannot see through this? We are going to take this to the people,” said Shah, sketching what could possibly be BJP’s campaign plank in the polls.
Earlier, AAP’s Sanjay Singh had flayed the move, which will most likely result in the postponement of the MCD polls. “If you don’t have to contest an election and run away from the election, then I will suggest again, name this bill the Kejriwal-phobia bill. This bill writes the story of your story of cowardice. This bill will write the story of you crushing the Constitution. This bill will write the story of the ending of the Election Commission by you. You have made Delhi a centre of corruption,” Singh said.
He found support from Congress’s Singhvi. “This bill is about control and more control by a control freak sarkar (government). It has nothing to do with the plight of Delhi and its hapless citizens. This is dangerous politics of delaying (polls) through delimitation, which is going to lead to disorder, disorganisation and disaster,” said the lawyer-politician
The home minister brushed aside the charges of the bill being violative of the federal structure.
“This bill is in no way an attack on the federal structure. Delhi is only a Union territory and not a full state,” he said, adding that “Parliament has competence to frame laws for Delhi and that is why it has brought this bill”.
Shah also brushed aside the opposition charge that the Centre brought the bill out of fear of being defeated in the civic elections and said BJP has no such phobia and is ready to contest the polls soon after delimitation, adding that it was, in fact, AAP that might lose the polls when they are held after the completion of the exercise. “It has been alleged that the bill has been brought due to fear of losing elections. But if elections are held after six months, will you lose,” he asked the opposition.
BJP’s Sudhanshu Trivedi said the bill was in accordance with constitutional provisions and accused the AAP government of choking funds due to MCDs. He said that against the Rs 40,500 crore budget for the municipal corporations, the Delhi government released Rs 6,129 crore.
“This number tells what kind of justice was done with MCD and why there is a need for unification of all three municipal bodies,” he added.