Shimla (Himachal Pradesh) [India], January 25 (ANI): Former Himachal Pradesh Urban Development Minister and BJP leader Suresh Bhardwaj on Wednesday lambasted the state government for overturning the previous BJP government’s decision to delimit Shimla Municipal Corporation wards and said that the Congress government’s decision is politically motivated ignoring the public interest.
He said wards were delimited to ensure even development but the Congress government’s decision is politically motivated ignoring the public interest. In a press statement, Bhardwaj said the present Congress government had promulgated an ordinance to overturn the previous decision to enhance municipal wards from 34 to 41.
“Government changed the decision to reap political gains but did injustice to the people of Shimla,” he added.
Bhardwaj said the previous BJP government passed an act in the assembly to enhance the number of wards. The current CM and some of the ministers participated in the debate. “We took the Vidhansabha route and faced a debate to enhance the number of wards while the present government adopted the ordinance route to avoid discussion,” he added.
The former minister said the Congress government in 2017 doubled the municipal ward falling in the Kasumpati assembly segment from 6 to 12 and wards in Shimla rural from 2 to 4 for political benefit. But the government did not delimit wards of Shimla urban assembly segments.
“Last year, wards falling within Shimla urban assembly segment limits were delimited keeping population (2011 census) imbalance in mind. There were a few wards with a population of around 5000- 6000. Only such wards were delimited,” he said.
Bhardwaj said the Congress party delimited wards in 2017 for political gains but the previous government followed the rules. Wards were delimited to ensure the smooth functioning of the municipality.
“Even population in municipal wards would have resulted in even development,” he said, adding, “Our decision was in the public interest, while the government on Tuesday decided for political gains ignoring the benefit of the people of Shimla.”
He asked the state government to delimit MC wards to ensure an even population balance. “This is what the Act says,” he added.
The former minister said the previous BJP government followed the “Sabka Sath Sabka Vikas” motto and carried out development activities across entire wards of Shimla.
The Congress government has reduced the number of wards of Shimla Municipal Corporation back to 34 from 41 by promulgating an ordinance on Tuesday.
The previous BJP government had increased the number of wards from 34 to 41 after delimitation in May 2022. The tenure of the house of Shimla municipal corporation got over in June last year.
The elections could not be held as two councillors moved the high court challenging the delimitation of Nabha and Summer hill wards.
The Congress government on Tuesday promulgated an ordinance, stating, “In section 6 of Himachal Pradesh Municipal Corporation Act, 1994, in clause (a), in the proviso, for the words “forty-one”, the words “thirty-four” shall be substituted.”