Chaos in MCD House as AAP, BJP fight over crucial panel | Latest News Delhi - Hindustan Times
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Chaos in MCD House as AAP, BJP fight over crucial panel

Jan 30, 2024 06:14 AM IST

The House rushed through 25 policy proposal of which seven were postponed, two were rejected while rest of the 16 were cleared by a voice vote

The Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) House meeting on Monday plunged into chaos as councillors from the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) raised placards and shouted slogans against the mayor’s petition in the Supreme Court — that the powers of the powerful standing committee be temporarily transferred to the House.

BJP councillors protest inside MCD House on Monday. (Raj K Raj/HT Photo)
BJP councillors protest inside MCD House on Monday. (Raj K Raj/HT Photo)

The protest ensured that the House could not discuss any proposals listed for the day. Amid the pandemonium, the House rushed through 25 policy proposal, of which seven were postponed, two were rejected, and the remaining 16 were cleared by a voice vote.

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The BJP councillors were protesting against mayor Shelly Oberoi’s petition filed before the Supreme Court on Sunday, in which she sought the court to temporarily transfer the powers of the standing committee to the house of councillors. The 18-member standing committee is the powerful panel of the civic body that controls the purse strings of the MCD. The formation of standing committee and other key panels in the MCD remained a sticking point between the ruling Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) and the opposition BJP for the past over one year.

The matter is pending adjudication before the Supreme Court, where the AAP has challenged the appointment of 10 aldermen by Delhi’s lieutenant governor.

While six members to the standing committee have been elected by the House, the remaining 12 will have to be elected by ward committees in which aldermen hold voting power. Till the aldermen issue is resolved, the constitution of the ward committees cannot be completed and the stalemate will not be resolved.

The BJP, however, has maintained that there is no legal stay over holding elections for the wards committee. The AAP has insisted that the appointment of 10 aldermen by LG will impact the elections and the outcome of the petition on their appointment should be settled first.

The 16 proposals cleared by the House on Monday include the redevelopment of the Sarai Kale Khan crematorium as one of the largest funeral facilities in the city, the revision of recruitment rules for different municipal posts, the setting up of polling booths for the upcoming Lok Sabha elections, and a new policy to allow government co-operative societies to open outlets in closed dhalaos. Other proposals — related to the allocation of additional funds for completing pending works at two multilevel parking lots at Jangpura and New Friends Colony, and allowing the municipal commissioner to increase the parking fee during implementation of stage 2 of the Graded Response Action Plan (Grap) — were postponed till the next general meeting.

The House will start its budget session from Tuesday, with leader of the opposition Raja Iqbal Singh initiating the discussion on annual budget proposals.

The House also cleared five proposals related to the naming and renaming of roads — a move opposed by the BJP councillors. It was the first time that the civic body considered proposals related to naming of roads since the unification of erstwhile North, South and East MCDs in May 2022.

The House cleared naming of two stretches in East Patel Nagar after Devender Kaur Bindra and Satender Pal Singh Bindra, and three roads in Adarsh Nagar ward after Lal Kanwar Bhan Gupta and Santlal Gupta. The two wards are represented by mayor Shelly Oberoi and leader of the house Mukesh Goyal.

BJP’s Singh said that proposals related to naming of roads are cleared by the naming committee and put up by the executive wing after verification, but the AAP administration bypassed the committee while tabling the proposal.

Goyal rejected the BJP leader’s contention and said that there were only four statutory committees in MCD (standing, wards, rural and education committee). He said the rest of the committees have an advisory role only. “The naming committee is an ad-hoc committee. It has an advisory role. Since the committee has not been formed, the House can take the decision on its own,” he said.

Mayor Oberoi said that like always, the BJP councillors did not allow the House to function. “We always appeal to BJP councillors that the House meeting should proceed peacefully... But the BJP councillors never maintain the dignity of the House. Even today, we had to pass the resolutions amid ruckus created by them.” The last House meeting had witnessed similar scenes and multiple adjournments.

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