Tuesday, May 31, 2016

MCD Ward Delimitation issue : POLITICS over PRAGMATISM : Rajiv Kakria

PREAMBLE: The question is, why have all attempts to streamline MCD come to naught? Doubling of Councillors and Delimitation in 2007 and Trifurcation of MCD in 2011 ...... were experiments carried out to achieve a POLITICAL STRANGLEHOLD RATHER THAN TO ACHIEVE EFFICIENCY.

The latest attempt at Delimitation of MCD Wards on the basis of Population is again aimed at Political Hold over the most Vulnerable section. No one is against development of deprived sections of the city but tilting the balance of Political Power on the basis of Population alone will create animosity amongst fellow citizens.


1. CONTENTION: Issue of Bogus / Dual Voters is unresolved.

SOLUTION: Delimitation should be put on HOLD till EC convinces Citizens that there are no Bogus / Dual Voters. (Copy of Full CIC Order dated 13-01-15 to Anil Sood’s RTI attached) ...... Extract ...... “Appellant said that because of criterion that MP or Councillor’s recommendation substituting the proof of residence, there are huge number of bogus votes in Delhi constituency which has capacity of rendering the whole process of elections in Delhi into a farce.  The Election officers are trying to delay and deny the information instead of providing as he sought for. When an affidavit by elected members of Parliament or Municipal  Councillors could be the basis of giving a voter card, what action the government would take  in case one single person getting more than one voter card?  He said that answers to his questions would lead to detection of bogus voters and their elimination, which is highly essential to protect public interest and democratic process. 

The Commission finds huge public interest in the appellant’s RTI application which should have been answered long ago. It is surprising that the First Appellate Authority issued such an order as if it was without application of mind. In the context of the admission about mistakes and huge bogus votes in Delhi by Chief Electoral Officer of National Capital in a PIL before Delhi High Court, the problem appears to be more serious and complex. It is shocking to know that there are 58000 cases of wrong photo image, including that of a film star on a common man’s voter card, an in-depth inquiry into residential addresses with MP recommendation criterion might reveal more bogus votes. As there is a possibility of correction of voters list, the Commission recommends the respondent authority to examine the issue raised by the appellant and if that could be used to detect the bogus voter cards, such an initiative should be adopted immediately ....... “

2. CONTENTION: The status of Unauthorised Colonies and Encroachments on Public Land is Subjudice / Undetermined.

SOLUTION: Delimitation should be put on HOLD till the Status is Cleared by Supreme Court.                                                              

3. CONTENTION: Exponential Population Growth in some wards is not Natural and has A SKEWED MALE/FEMALE SEX RATIO. (Population chart of some wards attached)

SOLUTION: Investigate presence of large number of migrants who have obtained Voter Cards in Delhi while they continue to Vote in Native Panchayat Elections. A Panchayat / BPL / Ration Card is a Valid Identity Document in other states. The Law is clear that no citizen can Vote in two parts of a country. Start Awareness Drive and Prosecute those having Dual Domicile.

4. CONTENTION: MPD-2021 places a Legal Bar on number of Dwelling Units, Building Bye Laws and exponential growth in PLANNED DEVELOPED COLONIES, while there are NO SUCH CONTROLS over Villages / Unauthorised Colonies / JJ Clusters etc.

SOLUTION: Stop exploitation of Migrants for Vote Banks and CREATE LAWS FOR THEM TO AVAIL OF VARIOUS WELFARE PROGRAMMES, without being forced into seeking Duplicate Voter Cards.  (Introduce Green Card Concept)

5. CONTENTION: Population cannot be the only Criteria for Delimitation.

SOLUTION: A balance of Geographical Spread, Population, Tax Collection, Infrastructure etc must be given due weightage. Democracy does not mean Majoritarianism, if the same formula were to be applied in Assam / West Bengal / Bihar / UP etc, then many High Density Areas would get many more MLA Wards ....... if such Delimitation is not acceptable there, then why such need in Municipal Wards.

6. CONTENTION: Populism and Discriminatory deployment of funds will be the net outcome of Population Based Delimitation without first factoring in the above points. Areas with THREE COUNCILLORS WILL GET RUPEES 4.5 CRORES, whereas areas with 6 COUNCILLORS WILL GET DOUBLE THE FUNDS. Larger Geographical spread requires more funds due to Longer/Wider Road Network, Larger Parks, more Street lights, larger surface area for Sanitation, larger Network of Drains for desilting etc and such areas pay higher Taxes.

SOLUTION: Wide discussion with RWAs, Sociologists and Weeding out Dual Voters must be ensured before delimitation.

7. CONTENTION: Discriminatory towards Law Abiding Tax Payers in Planned Developed Colonies who are already disillusioned with Vote Bank Politics.

SOLUTION: Create Constituencies that balance Equitable Social Development, by ensuring franchise to Genuine Stake Holders and not freebees seeking Captive Voters.

CHETNA (Anil Sood and I) had earlier filed a PIL to end Boothwise declaration of election results, so that absolute secrecy of Vote is maintained to AVOID EXPLOITATION OF POOR AND RICH ALIKE. That is when we had discovered many loopholes in the process of making Voter Cards for Political Stranglehold.

Friends please forward this to all on your mailing list and all those who believe in Democracy and not Mobocracy. Please add your suggestions for a comprehensive proposal.

Please look up attachments.

Rajiv Kakria

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