On March 30, Lok Sabha passed the MCD amendment bill to merge the three municipal corporations into one entity. During the discussion over the bill, Union Home Minister Amit Shah said that the bill that proposed the merger of three municipal corporations of Delhi was constitutionally legal. He advised leaders, including Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, to re-read the Constitution.
During the discussion on the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (Amendment) Bill 2022, HM Shah said Delhi is a Union Territory. Thus, under Article 239-AA-3B of the Constitution of India, the Parliament has the power to make law with respect to it. He said the bill aimed to unify the three corporations into a single, integrated and well-equipped entity. It would ensure optimal utilization of the resources in hand. The Opposition had moved several amendments, but they were rejected by the house. The bill was passed by a voice note.
HM Shah, while responding to the allegations of the opposition leaders that the central government was encroaching upon the rights of the states, said, “People are talking about the rights of states. Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal also says the same thing…I can’t bring such a bill for Maharashtra, Gujarat, or Bengal. Centre nor I can do it in the states. But if you don’t know the difference between a state and a union territory, then I think Constitution needs to be studied again.”
He blamed the Delhi government for showing a stepmother-like attitude towards MCDs. Furthermore, as there are important places like the President’s house, PMO, secretariats and more in Delhi, it is essential that the civic bodies work properly and efficiently.
HM shah raised questions on the way MCDs were divided. He said while one MCD had enough resources in hand but lesser work, the other two had a lot of work but lesser resources.
He added the Delhi government claims they do not have money to pay MCDs but they regularly give advertisements worth crores.
HM Shah said those who say BJP was scared of elections were scared themselves. If they were sure of their victory in the elections, they could win after six months as well.
Without taking the names of West Bengal and Kerala, HM Shah said Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) does not kill the workers of rival parties to ensure victory. He added BJP wanted to contest elections and win on the basis of the performance of the government, popularity of the leadership and ideology. He said, “Every party should go everywhere with their ideology, stand, program and performance. That’s the beauty of democracy. What’s objectionable here? If a party thinks its candidates should be elected to power on the basis of their ideology and popularity, what is objectionable here?”
Earlier, MCD elections were deferred by the Election Commission after receiving communication from the Centre that there were plans to merge the three MCDs into one entity. After the announcement, Aam Aadmi Party leaders alleged BJP was scared of losing the MCD elections. Rebutting the allegations, the Centre said since the split of the MCDs, the resources available at MCDs’ disposal were not being utilized efficiently.