New Delhi, Nov 23: Ending a five-month suspense, the Centre today cleared the trifurcation of Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) which was vociferously pursued by Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit.
“Home Minister P Chidambaram has signed the file giving approval for trifurcation of MCD. We came here to thank him,” Dikshit told reporters here after a meeting with Chidambaram.
She said Delhi Cabinet will meet tomorrow to decide when to convene a session of the Delhi Assembly where a Bill for trifurcating the MCD will be placed. All the ministers of Delhi government were with Dikshit during the meeting.
The clearance of the proposal came amidst stiff opposition from BJP which alleges the move will be against the spirit of the Constitution and will cripple the functioning of the civic body.
The Delhi government had sent the proposal to Home Ministry in early June seeking the go-ahead for trifurcation of the MCD ahead of municipal polls. The Home Ministry, after giving the in-principle approval last week had sent the proposal to the Law Ministry for vetting.
The Chief Minister, who has been a strong votary of splitting the MCD, had met Chidambaram several times in the last three months seeking early clearence to the proposal. Dikshit had raised the issue with Congress chief Sonia Gandhi in a meeting earlier this month.
Last month the Home Ministry wanted certain amendments in the proposal, specifically on appointment of Commissioners for the three proposed municipal councils so as to allow the Centre to continue to have a say in the process.
The Delhi Government has been pressing for early go-ahead to the proposal so that the entire process of trifurcating the MCD could be completed well ahead of coming into force of the election code of conduct for the municipal polls which are scheduled to be held in April next year.
The Home Ministry had in September returned the proposal to the city government wanting to know specifically what would be the administrative structure, distribution of funds and how the city government plans to ensure proper coordination among three proposed bodies. The government had sent a fresh proposal last month.
Dikshit has been strongly pushing for trifurcation of MCD as well as increasing reservation of seats for women to 50 per cent from the current 33 per cent.
She had to face opposition from within Congress for the proposal with several leaders even going to party chief Sonia Gandhi to complain against the move.
However, after much deliberation within the party and discussions with senior AICC leaders, it was decided the MCD would be split into three parts and the number of wards would be kept at 272.
As per the bill, the new civic bodies in North and South Delhi will have 104 wards each, while the civic body in East Delhi will have 64 wards.
Both North and South Delhi municipality will have 26 assembly constituencies each while the 16 assembly segments will fall under the East Delhi municipality.