Ball now in Delhi LG’s court to decide new House date
Officials from the lieutenant governor’s office (LG) said that conducting the next house is not likely to be an immediate affair and the entire process of appointing a presiding officer – who oversees the swearing-in process -- will have to be repeated, which may take several days
A new presiding officer will have to be appointed, a process that is likely to take several days and the Capital’s civic body will continue to be administered by the special officer appointed by the Union government, officials aware of the protocols and planning said on Friday, hours after the first sitting of the new house of ward representatives devolved into a clash.
This was the first time in the history of the Municipal Corporation of Delhi that the inaugural meeting, where members are sworn in by a presiding officer, was left incomplete -- only five members were able to take their oaths before proceedings were adjourned due to the brawl in which members threw punches, jostled with each other and tried to lob furniture.
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Officials from the lieutenant governor’s office (LG) said that conducting the next house is not likely to be an immediate affair and the entire process of appointing a presiding officer – who oversees the swearing-in process -- will have to be repeated, which may take several days.
“Satya Sharma was appointed presiding officer only for this specific day, therefore the municipal secretary office will have restart the process. Municipal secretary office will send the shortlisted names to commissioner office, which will be sent to urban development department. Minister Manish Sisodia will forward these files to CM Arvind Kejriwal, ultimately landing at the LG office,” said an officer in LG VK Saxena’s office, explaining the process.
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“We cannot say how much time it will take at this stage but the process for continuing the proceeding is likely to take several days at the very least,” the official added, asking not to be named.
The officials clarified that the members who have taken oath on Friday, including Satya Sharma, will start holding office of councillors immediately.
While the corporation will now have to wait for another notification, special officer Ashwini Kumar will continue to yield the powers of the elected wing and its committees till the new corporation comes into existence completely.
“Under normal circumstances, the special officer office would have discontinued today with elected members taking their positions. We had also prepared the special officer office to be converted in the mayor’s office but the disruption has delayed the term closure,” an MCD official from municipal secretariat said, asking not to be named.
A spokesperson of MCD said the corporation will continue to operate like it has since May. “Until a mayor is elected by members after they take their respective oaths, the special officer will continue to hold office. All files meant for standing committee and house will continue to be sent to special officer,” the spokesperson clarified.
A second municipal official said that the next house meeting will also witness much heavier presence of marshals and security personnel. “We hope sanity will prevail and tempers will cool but we will be increasing the provisions made to ensure peaceful conduct of the house,” the official added.