An example of Decentralization of Power: “Mohalla Sabhas” for Aam Aadmi Party’s Self-Rule, Self-Governance via Delhi Nagar Swaraj Bill 2014
The Aam Aadmi Party organized its first “Mohalla Sabha” at Vasundhara Enclave, New Delhi. Soon, the draft Delhi Nagar Swaraj Bill 2014 will be brought before the cabinet and then introduced in Delhi assembly soon.
As per the draft Delhi Nagar Swaraj Bill 2014
- Every Delhi voter be a decision-maker.
- Pave the way for self-rule through mohalla sabhas.
- The contours of the mohalla sabha will be defined by the state election commission by taking public opinion into account. The members of the sabha will be voters who stay within the boundaries of the mohalla, and this collective will use its vote to send two representatives to a ward committee. This committee will do coordination at the ward level to pave the way for delivery of proposals cleared by the mohalla sabha at monthly meetings by vote. Funds will be put at the disposal of the sabhas by the mohalla secretariat, which will be manned by officials, to ensure execution of the decisions of people.
- Gives the common man the power to remove the selected representative and also the area councilor mid-term through polling that can be initiated by the state election commission based after ascertaining the genuineness of representations from the mohalla sabha.
- When mohalla sabha members come together at monthly meetings to cast their vote on issues, 33% must be women while 10% of the registered voters of a mohalla must be present at the meeting. Decisions are to be largely by consensus but may also be taken by a simple majority vote.
- Mohalla sabhas shall strive for universal education and healthcare in the mohalla and formulate and implement schemes to eradicate hunger and homelessness and for welfare of senior citizens, disabled and other vulnerable sections of society.
- Also gives the sabhas power to get any information from any official of the state government or municipal body regarding issues directly or indirectly related to their mohalla.
- Creates room for an ombudsman and empowers the mohalla sabha to file complaints if anyone is found violating the law.
Wherever there are inter-ward issues, the standing committees of the municipal corporations will take a view, and wherever there are government-related issues, the departments concerned will be involved. The state government’s role will be limited to projects like flyovers and other major development plans for the city.