New Delhi: Delhi voted for the first time for the trifurcated Municipal Corporation of Delhi elections on Sunday that saw the arch-rivals the Congress and the BJP in another pitched electoral battle to control the prestigious civic body. BJP, which won the polls in 2007 with 164 seats in the 272-member body, is hoping to retain power for a third term while Congress hopes to make a dent this year.
The MCD elections, thought mostly fought on local issues like water, electricity, drainage and parking, remain a high-stake election for the two national parties - the Congress and the BJP. With Delhi also being the national capital, the municipal polls inevitably end up becoming a referendum on the national politics.
Since Congress-led UPA rules at the Centre and BJP controls the MCD, Tuesday's verdict may witness a pitched battle between the two national parties. The verdict is also bound to have a significant bearing on the state and national politics. The counting of the votes will take place on Tuesday.
BJP's election campaign on radio and other media, ironically, focused on corruption in the Congress-led UPA and not on its achievements and work in the civic body. Congress in its campaign, on the other hand, drew attention to the poor showing of the BJP-led MCD.
Congress had won just 67 seats in the 2007 polls and hopes to better its peformance. Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit, however, on Saturday said the election to the trifurcated municipal corporations will not be a "referendum" on her government as it is being fought on local issues. Delhi goes for Assembly polls next year, in which CM Sheila Dikshit will seek a record fourth term.
2012 is a landmark year for the MCD for two reasons. One, this is the first time the civic body, with an annual budget of Rs 7800 crore, has been trifurcated into three separate bodies - one each for North, South and East Delhi - to ensure better administration of the city.
Two, this is also the first time that 50 percent of the seats in the municipal body have been reserved for women.
Delhi reported a voters' turnout of 60% on Sunday, the highest voting percentage in MCD polls in 15 years, after the state election commission ran a successful campaign asking the voters to practice their franchise.
Municipal Corporation of Delhi is among the largest municipal bodies in the world providing civic services to an estimated population of 13.78 million citizens in Delhi. Its services cover 98% population of Delhi and 96% area of the metropolis.
- Separate manifestos for each of the three new municipalities, focusing on specific needs of the areas on sectors like health, education, sanitation and other basic infrastructure
- Bringing accountability and transparency in municipal administration
- Delhi to be free from water clogging problem
- In order to avoid incidents of building collapse, approval would be given to online building plan after receiving the certificate from structural engineer
- Approval for division of small plots
- Development of old Delhi
- Free books to children with uniform and medical insurance
- Urban reconstruction of the city by 2025
- Social security card for underprivileged to get the facilities of insurance, medical care and education etc.
- Master plan for drainage
- Increasing of the waste-to-energy projects like the Okhla waste-management plant
- Holiday on Chhath to woo the Poorvanchalis
- A medical college
- Free public toilets for all, especially for women
- Special rebates in all municipal taxes for ex-servicemen
- Regularization of weekly markets and special scheme for rehri-patri vendors
- Identifying dangerous buildings and allowing the owner to reconstruct it
- Multi-purpose haats
- Improvement of cremation and burial grounds
- Providing basic services in slums, JJ colonies, resettlement colonies etc