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SMC elections down the bend – No political ‘Halchal’? Keeping the city guessing

With the Shimla Municipal corporation elections down the bend i.e before May 2017, it feels that the city political outfits hardly want to speak about them. In the current SMC house all three major parties played a part. BJP having 12 councillors was number one, Congress at 9 and the house was led by leftist Mayor and Deputy Mayor along with 3 councillors. This signifies that all three are answerable to the public. Is this the reason of their quietness that near to the Shimla Municipal corporation elections?

“In these five years nothing much changed in Shimla,” stated Bimal a resident. He said, “All we could witness was quarrelling houses, difference of opinions among all three and court wars between SMC and the state government”. The real issues like Sewerage of the city, Street vendors, Quality drinking water, traffic congestion and now even the half hanging retention policy have been only talked about. None of the current stakeholder parties have been able to bring out a solution to it, he added. He said that to him this is one reason why they don’t want to make any noise before the elections. As they have nothing to talk about. He said that at this point of time, people of the city want to know which political outfit or person(s) plan to take it forward for them.

Tikender Panwar leftist Deputy Mayor of Shimla however denied that their party has not been talking about the city issues. He said that while they are in power they have achieved integration of water sewerage, surplus revenues for the SMC which five years back did not even have money for paying out salaries and a remarkable sewerage waste management plant. Besides he says that other issues were also taken up in the house but could not lead to result due to other political parties.

He said that the reasons for none of the political outfits making noise, is that direct elections of Mayor and deputy Mayor have been scrapped to its earlier form of councillorsShimla-MC choosing their leaders. Adding that party symbols would no longer be used in this election and thirdly the reservation roaster also has not been finalised yet. “It is only after the roaster finalisation that some activity can be witnessed, “he summarised.

“It is a common trend these days that candidate would be declared just after the election notification and only by swaying the public in the heat of elections, the smart ones will make it to power. And this time it would be without informing the public, about the reasons for not being able to deliver as no party symbols would be used”, stated Sushil another resident. He said this would become an easy escape route for the non performers. As in most without party symbols elections political affiliations are created after the results. Adding that as was witnessed earlier in the Zila parishad polls in 2016, where every political party was claiming winners to be from their party.

“However the question still remains that whether like the CPI(M) other political outfits would also come forth to list their achievements in the house, for the 5 years?” questioned some young locals of Sanjauli.  “Or will they hide behind the easy escape route of going into elections without party symbols, since they have nothing to talk about,”  they summarised.

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