MCD, BMC Elections: Lives Of Citizens At Stake Amid Political Fight In Local Bodies

Local elections are coming up in both Delhi and Mumbai, and the stakes in the political arena have never been higher. In Delhi’s assembly elections, BJP and AAP campaigned for MCD in 2017 by projecting images of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, respectively; nonetheless, Delhi voters favoured the BJP. With ties between the Delhi L-G and the AAP administration plummeting, a far more bitter struggle now beckons.

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As the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) expands its national reach to include Gujarat, the state of Delhi holds its election under a cloud of uncertainty. The BJP has a great chance to take control of BMC as well, which is being run by the Thackeray family for decades. Shiv Sena faced an existential threat from the BJP in the BMC elections of 2017. In 2022, once Sena splits in two, the BJP has a better chance of taking power in the country’s financial hub than it had before.

It’s clear that the politics surrounding these municipal elections have little to do with the welfare of the cities themselves. The elections will produce winners, but local government is failing as seen by the recent flooding in Bengaluru and the collapse of the Morbi bridge. Indian cities have grown haphazardly, putting residents’ lives, limbs, and property at risk due to outdated and decaying infrastructure. In order to increase their capability for safety audits and project planning and execution, local governments need access to sufficient authority and funding.

However, most municipalities have not kept up with the times and are missing out on a significant revenue stream because of their out-of-date property tax systems. The proliferation of authority, caused by the state government’s control over municipal entities, damages accountability and messes up the line of command. Those in the leadership of metropolitan civic authorities lack the authority to do their jobs effectively. The organic nature of cities makes them uniquely capable of fostering individual well-being and national economic development. All the political hubbub around local elections attests to their significance. However, engaging in politics cannot serve as an aim in itself. Let there be changes.