BSP support gets South civic agency a BJP mayor

Mayor Savita Gupta received 66 votes against the 46 received by NCP councillor Phool Kali,who was supported by the Congress.

Written by Priyanka Sharma | New Delhi | Published: May 3, 2012 1:06 am

Mayor Savita Gupta received 66 votes against the 46 received by NCP councillor Phool Kali,who was supported by the Congress.

It was an alliance denied by both till the last minute. Rivals at the national front,Bahujan Samaj Party and Bharatiya Janata Party joined hands in the South Delhi Municipal Corporation House,to bring BJP’s Savita Gupta to the post of the mayor of the agency.

The BJP had always known that BSP support was crucial,so it promised to reserve the seat of deputy mayor for the BSP candidate Bir Singh.

The move secured the BJP five of BSP votes,boosting its chances to bag the mayor seat.

A senior councillor of the BSP said the decision to support the BJP was taken by the “high command”.

“We do not decide on such matters. It all comes from the high command and we just obey. We did not need to make our support public as BSP candidate Bir Singh election on post of deputy mayor made evident our support for the BJP,” said the councillor.

Leader of Opposition in the corporation Farhad Suri said: “A newspaper accused Bir Singh’s family members of land grabbing. Moreover,you should not forget that in 2007 the BJP councillors had beaten up BSP councillors.”

Responding to the allegations,Sahi Ram of BSP said,“It is just a newspaper report. That your ministers are lying in jails is a known fact. Congress should not point fingers at others. We support the BJP mayor and will cooperate for welfare of the corporation.”

Mayor Savita Gupta received 66 votes against the 46 votes of NCP councillor Phool Kali,who was supported by the Congress.

The BJP had 44 votes from its own councillors,five from BSP,three from INLD,one from JD(U),one from RLD,and 10 Independents. It also got the support of two MLAs — Jagdish Mukhi and Ramesh Bidhuri.

Congress had 29 own votes,three of MPs,three of MLAs,one of SP,six of NCP and four of Independents.

Subhash Arya was elected the Leader of House. After four withdrew their nominations,Farhad Suri and Tilotma Choudhary from Congress,and M Nagarajan Rajesh Gehlot,Anil Sharma and Simmi Jain of BJP were elected to the Standing Committee.

Congress MPs Ajay Maken,Pervez Hashmi and Mahabal Mishra came to cast their votes,but the Chief Minister’s son,MP Sandeep Dikshit and MP Ramesh Kumar remained absent.

South is richest municipality,will focus on sanitation,education

The South Municipal Corporation,which came into existence on Wednesday,turned out to be the richest civic body in the city.

The South Corporation,led by Mayor Savita Gupta,is the only one which has a surplus budget post trifurcation. It has a budget estimate of Rs 2,773 crore,of which Rs 380 crore is surplus,without any loan issued by the Delhi government.

On the other hand,North Municipal Corporation has been given a loan of Rs 790 crore by the Delhi government and the East Corporation has been given a loan of Rs 421 crore.

“The South Municipal Corporation is the richest civic body. With the expenditure of the corporation turning out to be Rs 2,414 crore,it has a surplus of Rs 360 crore. As the new corporation also does not have any loan component,it will have a financially sound start,” said Mayank Sharma,CA-cum-Finance.

The South Corporation has the largest land area of 846 square kilometre under its jurisdiction. It will cater to a population of 59 lakh. Officials said the South municipality will benefit heavily from the affluent areas within its jurisdiction.

Civic records show that over 43 per cent of the agency-run parking lots are in South Delhi. Moreover,over 55 per cent of the total receipt of property tax also comes from the upscale residential societies there.

“The tax collection in South Delhi will act as a dividend for the Corporation. Due to its demography,huge revenue collection will be from property tax,tax on advertisements and tax on building applications. Also,revenue will be generated from the various parking lots in the area,” said Sharma.

The South municipality has laid emphasis on sanitation,with around Rs 403 crore earmarked for the upkeep and sanitation of wards in the area.

Around 24 per cent of the budgetary provisions will be spent on education,with Rs 569 crore earmarked for municipal schools. While Rs 357 crore has been allotted for public works and street lighting,only a small amount has been allotted to public health and medical relief.

“The South Corporation has the largest land area under it,and has nearly 34 per cent of the total civic schools in the city,so majority of funds have been earmarked for sanitation and education. But since no major civic hospitals are in its jurisdiction,only Rs 133 crore will be spent on public health,” Sharma said.

North agency mayor to ‘train’ women councillors in working of corporation

With a large number of women being elected to the three MCDs,most of them first-timers,there will soon be orientation classes to inform them about the duties and functions of a councillor.

Mayor of North Delhi municipality,Meera Aggarwal said there will be “training” for the newly elected,so they do not lag behind their male counterparts due to lack of experience. “As many of them are newcomers,they are yet to learn about how the corporation works. They need to know how to deal with officials. Many women have been housewives and have remained in the background while their husbands made a mark for themselves… This is a golden opportunity for them to show men they are no less,” said Aggarwal.

The Mayor said the date for the training will be decided by Delhi BJP chief Vijender Gupta. Aggarwal said she would not only train women councillors from her corporation,but will include those from the other corporations as well.

The decision to conduct these training sessions comes at a point when there are more women councillors than men in the various corporations. Against the 138 seats reserved for them,women have won 144.

In the East Corporation,there are 35 women councillors,whereas North and South have 53 and 56 women councillors respectively.

For all the latest Delhi News, download Indian Express App