The three municipal corporations — North, South and East — are yet to announce the names of leaders in their respective Houses, with sources in the corporations and the BJP saying a tussle between BJP Delhi unit president Manoj Tiwari and Union Sports Minister and former leader of the state unit Vijay Goel could be to blame. Though not constitutional positions, these would ordinarily be filled within a couple weeks of the election of Mayors of the House.
Earlier this month, Goel had invited BJP leaders from Delhi, including MPs and MLAs, to an event meant to welcome the newly elected councillors into the political system. According to sources, the names of councillors Jai Prakash (North MCD), Shikha Rai (SDMC) and Santosh Pal (EDMC) were being considered for the Leaders of the House positions in the three corporations.
But the party decided to reconsider their names after they attended Goel’s May 16 event, sources claimed, adding that Tiwari had issued “explicit” orders for councillors to skip the event.
In fact, in a press statement issued on May 12, the state BJP had announced the appointment of Rai as the Leader of the House in the SDMC — a move that has now been put on hold.
While the MCD results were announced on April 26, the mayor of North Delhi was elected on May 18, South on May 19 and East on May 22. The House meetings of the three corporations are scheduled to be held next week.
Officials said the meetings could go on without the appointment of House leaders since the post is not a constitutional one, and is primarily meant to give the party a “balance of power” in the House.
“Technically, the Mayor is the leader of the House, but to bring about a balance of power, a senior leader is usually appointed Leader of the House,” a senior BJP leader told The Indian Express.
Tiwari could not be reached for a comment. However, state BJP spokesperson Harish Khurana said the names could be announced on Saturday.
“The names have already been decided and are only waiting official clearance,” he said.
Additionally, the composition of the standing committees has also been delayed since the zone boundaries have not been decided. The standing committees elect half of the members from the House and half from the zones. For instance, in the North, six members of the standing committee will come from the House and six from its six zones. However, the delay in defining the boundaries of administrative zones post-delimitation of wards has postponed constitution of ward committees and, subsequently, the standing committees.