With the city gearing up for byelections in 13 municipal wards next month and municipal polls next year, top leaders of the North Delhi Municipal Corporation have locked horns over awarding of a garba
With the city gearing up for byelections in 13 municipal wards next month and municipal polls next year, top leaders of the North Delhi Municipal Corporation have locked horns over awarding of a garbage contract. Mayor Ravinder Gupta wants a new contractor, alleging high rates were being charged by the present contractor, and Leader of House Yogendra Chandolia had written to party leadership against the mayor. Mr Chandolia had told Delhi BJP president Satish Upadhyay that Mr Gupta has been collecting donations from various sources in the name of the BJP.
Several NDMC councillors, on the other hand, are worried that infighting between the two leaders will dent the party’s image ahead of the municipal byelections. They have also indicated that Mr Gupta, whose term as the mayor is ending on April 28, should not be given a second term.
Ahead of the scheduled mayoral election on April 28, several councilors told this newspaper that in larger party interest and to present a clean image of the civic body, which is always under attack from Opposition Aam Aadmi Party and Congress, before the immediate bypolls and next year’s civic elections, the party leadership should not provide ready ammunition to its political rivals by giving a second term to Mr Gupta as the North mayor.
A councillor said that instead of giving a second term to Mr Gupta, the party should appoint a councillor with clean image and integrity as the mayor in the last year of the current term of the civic body. “Doubts against Mr Gupta’s conduct have been raised from within the party and the rivals will use these during the bypolls and the next year’s municipal elections. To avoid an uncomfortable situation, the party should appoint a new mayor in North Delhi,” he added.
The Delhi BJP, however, has not taken a final decision Mr Gupta’s second term. “A section in state leadership feels that giving a second term to Mr Gupta after the whole controversy on award of contract for solid waste management to private firm in its jurisdiction as municipal polls are due next year will adversely affect the party’s prospects. A decision on giving a second term to Mr Gupta will taken soon,” said a senior BJP leader.
A controversy erupted after Mr Chandolia wrote a letter to the Delhi BJP president claiming the NDMC mayor was violating the Municipal Act by stalling the process of awarding contract of collection and transportation of solid waste.