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BJP wins Delhi civic polls, but road ahead not so smooth

Delhi,Politics, Tue, 17 Apr 2012 IANS

New Delhi, April 17 (IANS) The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has retained power in the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD), but the road ahead will not be so easy.


"We will try to improve the existing services provided by MCD. And we hope we will function better this time," an elated Delhi mayor Rajni Abbi told IANS.



The BJP, which had swept the polls in 2007 with 164 seats in 272 wards, will have the tough task of giving a cleaner image of MCD, which has been accused of corruption among its ranks and of red tapism.



In a report in 2010, the government's anti-corruption branch said it had filed the maximum number of cases against the MCD and Delhi Police. Most of the corruption charges were against commissioners, engineers, junior engineers and clerks, among others.



The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) had filed 64 corruption cases against MCD officials between 2008 to 2010.



The Sheila Dikshit government had got the MCD trifurcated in 2011 for the better functioning of the humongous civil body.



With the split of MCD in three corporations, there are now 104 wards each in the south and north corporations and 64 in the east. Of the 272 seats, 138 are reserved for women.



"We will try to harmonise the relations between three corporations. We never opposed the split of MCD but the arbitrary manner in which the Congress-led government took the power of corporation," said Abbi, who won her seat from Mukherjee Nagar.



Her statement indicates that the tussle between the civic body and the Delhi government will continue at least till the assembly elections slated for next year.



Despite the BJP taking charge of the three zones, the civic agency will continue to be monitored by a Delhi government-appointed directorate, tasked with coordinating between the three corporations.



This would mean that the civic body may not have a free hand in taking administrative decisions.



This election has also given boost to the BJP which is now hoping to wrest power in the capital too.



"We are now preparing for 2013. The Delhi government has always stopped funds to the MCD but if this time they do it, we will expose the Sheila Dikshit government," Abbi said.



The Congress government in Delhi, led by Dikshit for three terms, has been constantly attacking the BJP-led MCD for not utilising the funds allotted by central and state governments for better infrastructure.



The BJP has failed to finish some of the developmental work it has promised five years back. Now, they will have to speed them up to showcase it during the assembly elections.



Delhi BJP chief Vijender Gupta said: "The Congress wanted the MCD to lag behind in work for the development but people have voted for the good work done by BJP."



Another challenge for the BJP will be to fill in the additional posts of officials created following the trifurcation of the MCD.



The corporation had advertised for 109 posts in March but it has not received a single application so far.



Another challenge will be to fulfill the basic needs of its 7.6 million people, who just want better sanitation, roads, health facilities and other civic amenities.



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