The split of the monolithic Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) into three municipalities is expected to boost area-specific local governance. But the contest for the North Delhi Municipal Corporation could prove as much a mix of issues and voters as it was earlier.
The variety that constitutes this municipality includes rural areas like Narela and Mundka on the citys northern fringes,the guesthouse hub of Karol Bagh,the Walled City and the middle-class colonies of Model Town,Rohini and Pitampura.
Chairman of MCDs Property Tax committee and Moti Nagar Councillor Ved Prakash Gupta said parties will have to come up with a mix of campaign issues to woo the vivid voter base.
The municipality has slums,motels,farmhouses,mixed-land use colonies,special areas like Old Delhi and also middle-class clusters. We cant really say that some particular set of issues will work for the entire municipality. Issues will vary from area to area, said Gupta.
Mukherjee Nagar Councillor and Mayor Rajni Abbi said the North Delhi municipality has a mixed landscape but was defined by its comparatively more urban character,as compared to the East Delhi and South Delhi corporations.
East Delhi has a lot of unauthorised colonies and migrant population from Bihar and Uttar Pradesh. South has urban pockets but also vast rural areas. So in that sense,we have comparatively more urban voters, said Abbi.
The urban character would mean the common issues across wards in this municipality will be roads,parks and sanitation,said Abbi.
The North Delhi municipality comprises the Northwest and the Chandni Chowk Lok Sabha constituencies,and parts of the West,the New Delhi and the Northeast Delhi constituencies.
Nearly a third of the voters here belong to the Scheduled Caste (SC) and the Other Backward Class category,and nearly a fifth of the wards here,20 out of 104,are reserved for SCs.
The Chandni Chowk Lok Sabha constituency brings to the North Delhi municipality a huge number of Vaish and Muslim voters,making the two communities form nearly a fifth of its voter base.
Nearly two-thirds of the sitting MCD councillors from this area,66 out of 104,are from the Bharatiya Janata Party,with the Congress a distant second with 23 councillors. But Congress Councillor from Kishan Ganj in Karol Bagh,Satbir Sharma,said his party is suitably placed.
Both the sitting MPs from Northwest Delhi and the Chandni Chowk constituencies,which form a chunk of this municipality,are from our party. So we are quite strong here, said Sharma.