New Delhi: Facing stiff opposition from
some of her partymen on the issue of splitting of the MCD,
Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit on Monday held detailed discussions
with her ministerial colleagues on the proposal to divide the
civic agency into five smaller bodies.
A Cabinet meeting presided over by Dikshit, discussed
"various permutations and combinations" in going ahead with
the proposal of splitting the MCD, currently ruled by the BJP
and held on its earlier view that there was no alternative but
to divide the civic body to improve its functioning.
"There are still so many ifs and buts. But we felt
that the MCD must be split to improve its functioning," a
Minister said after the meeting, rejecting the claim of a
section of the Congress that dividing the MCD will have an
adverse impact on the party in the municipal polls next year.
In a politically-sensitive move, the Delhi cabinet
last week had decided "in principle" to split the MCD into
five smaller bodies ahead of the 2012 municipal polls.
The Cabinet had accepted the recommendations of the
high-level committee, headed by Health Minister A K Walia,
which suggested splitting the civic body into five smaller
municipalities. The committee had also suggested increasing
the total number of wards from current 272 to around 408.
Five Congress MLAs on Saturday had met party chief
Sonia Gandhi and opposed any division of the civic body ahead
of next year`s polls, saying any tweaking with its
organisational structure will severely affect the party.
The MLAs, led by senior city Congress leader and MLA
from Kalkaji Subhash Chopra, strongly opposing the move, also
complained against Dikshit`s "style of functioning" and said
no discussion had taken place in the party before taking such
an important decision by the Cabinet.
Senior Congress leaders, who is in favour of splitting
the MCD, said that all those who are opposing division of the
civic body had strongly supported splitting it in the past.
"Subhash Chopra, who is opposing the move had
supported it Delhi Assembly when a discussion had taken place
in the year 2002. They are opposing it now for other reasons,"
the leader said.
Sources in the government said it was ready to
consider not increasing the number of wards but to abandon the
proposal at all cannot be reconsidered.