Fix the MCD deadlock to focus on governance

ByHT Editorial
Feb 07, 2023 08:44 AM IST

The courts will examine whether procedural infirmities have crept into the process, but political parties must step back from the disarray, be guided by the law and precedents, and allow governance concerns to take centre stage

For the third time in a month, the process to elect the next mayor and deputy mayor of the Capital was scuppered by chaos and wrangling on the floor of the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) House. As soon as the House assembled on Monday, controversy broke out over an announcement by presiding officer, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) councillor Satya Sharma, that nominated members would be allowed to vote to elect the mayor, deputy mayor, and members of the standing committee. Members of the Aam Aadmi Party, who hold the majority in the House, said they would approach the Supreme Court, arguing that the BJP was breaking protocol to take control of the municipal body after losing the elections. With the courts likely to get involved, the election of Delhi’s mayor and deputy mayor are likely to be further delayed.

BJP councillors shout slogan against AAP councillors at the Civic Centre, New Delhi, February 6, 2023 (Hindustan Times) PREMIUM
BJP councillors shout slogan against AAP councillors at the Civic Centre, New Delhi, February 6, 2023 (Hindustan Times)

In a city-state with a complex set of overlapping jurisdictions by the state, central and local governments, MCD performs critical functions that shape the daily lives of the city’s 20 million citizens. With an annual budget of 15,200 crore and around 150,000 employees, MCD is the first port of call for Delhi’s residents, and a crucial determinant of how India’s most important Union Territory functions. Despite a decisive result, the deadlock has held urban governance hostage, and set a poor example for respecting the popular mandate.

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