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About Delhi Politics: The Nerve-Centre of Power

Delhi became the capital of India soon after the country attained independence in 1947. In 1956, it went on to become a Union Territory under the States Reorganisation Act 1956.
In the same year, the Legislative Assembly was abolished, after which direct federal control was implemented. Later, with the 69th amendment of the Constitution Act 1991, Delhi went on to become the National Capital Territory (NCT) of India, with its own Legislative Assembly.  The political administration of Delhi very closely resembles to that of a state as it has its own legislature, executive council of ministers headed by Chief Minister, high court, etc. Delhi is run by both the Government of India and the Government of the NCT Delhi, with both the bodies located in Delhi. Some of the powers like the Delhi police and others come directly under the Central government’s administration.

Delhi sends seven members to the Lok Sabha and three members to the Rajya Sabha.

Over the years, Delhi has grown by leaps and bounds and has expanded beyond NCT, bringing within its fold several urban townships like Gurgaon, Noida, Ghaziabad, Faridabad, etc. The NCT along with the urban region has come to be known as the National Capital Region (NCR).

Delhi has been run by the Indian National Congress (INC) government all throughout till the 1990, when Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) came to power in 1993. In 1998, the Congress once again assumed power and continued for three terms. In 2013, the Congress government was ousted by Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) led by Arvind Kejriwal. However, his government lasted only for 49 days and currently Delhi is under President’s rule.

List of Chief Ministers of Delhi

Name: Sheila Dixit

Party: Indian National Congress
Tenure: 1998-2013
Sheila Dixit has been the longest serving Chief Minister of Delhi, continuing office for 15 years from 1998-2013.

A history honours graduate from the Miranda House , she represented the Kannauj parliamentary constituency during 1984-89. During this period, she represented India at the United Nations Commission on Status of Women and also served on the Estimates Committee of Lok Sabha. During 1986-89, she served as a Union Minister - first as Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs and later as a Minister of State in the Prime Minister's Office.  In 1998, she was defeated in the parliamentary election by BJP candidate Lal Bihari Tiwari. Later, she went on to become the Chief Minister of Delhi.  After a successful stint of 15 years, she was defeated by AAP leader Arvind Kejriwal in the Delhi Legislative Elections 2013. She was made the Governor of Kerala in 2014, but soon resigned from that post after the BJP-led coalition assumed power at the Centre.

Delhi witnessed several development projects under Shiela Dixit. Delhi Metro is one such project that has transformed the life in the city. She was also instrumental in the building of first class road infrastructure, flyovers, construction of numerous super speciality hospitals, government schools, etc. She also introduced numerous welfare schemes for the people such as 'Ladli' scheme for the education of girl child. One of her biggest and important achievements has been giving people in Delhi clean air to breathe with the conversion of numerous public transport vehicles to Compressed Natural Gas (CNG).

Crime rate had gone up in the city during her regime. The Delhi rape case in 2012, where a young medical student was brutally raped, is believed to be among the major factors for her defeat in the elections that followed. Besides this, she has been accused of misusing the Centre’s funds for political advertisements. She also has corruption charges against her with regard to the 2010 Commonwealth Games.

Madan Lal Khurana

Party: Bharatiya Janata party
Tenure: 1993-96
Madan Lal Khurana was involved in politics since his college days and founded the Delhi Chapter of Jan Sangh, which in 1980 got transformed as the BJP. After the 1984 General Elections, where the BJP suffered miserably, Khurana was credited with reviving the party in Delhi. He became the Chief Minister in 1993 but resigned in 1996 and failed to get reinstated when the party chose to go along with Sahib Singh Verma, who was a strong Jat leader. Khurana then went on to become Union Minister of Parliamentary Affairs and Tourism in the Vajpayee government and later the governor of Rajasthan in 2004. In 2005, he was removed from the BJP for indiscipline. Though he was taken back into the party, currently he has retired from active politics.

Madan Lal Khurana is believed to have initiated various development projects, which were then carried out by the subsequent governments.  Delhi Metro is one such project.

In 1991, when an arrest linked to militants in Kashmir led to a raid on hawala brokers, it was found that many politicians have been paid money. Khurana’s name also featured on the list.

Economy of Delhi

The economy of Delhi is vibrant and strong. As per the Economic Survey 2012-13, the Gross State Domestic Product (GSDP) has grown by 18.84 percent in 2011-12 – from Rs 2,61,470 crore in 2010-11 to Rs 3,10,736 crore in 2011-12.  In 2012-13, it was expected to grow by 17.70 percent. The relative share of the primary sector, which includes agriculture, was reduced to 0.77 in 2012-13. The share of secondary sector, which includes manufacturing, has reduced to 17.69 percent. The tertiary sector, which includes services, has been expanding and its share has increased to 81.54 percent in 2012-13.


Delhi Tourism

Though there has never been a conscious effort to project Delhi as a tourist city, Delhi receives a large number of foreign tourists every year. However, now the government feels that Delhi has to emerge as a historical city, a cultural destination, a convention centre, an eco-friendly destination – all rolled into one. To achieve these, efforts are already underway by means of strengthening the infrastructure, providing accessibility to tourist destinations, etc.

Voters of Delhi

In a post-poll survey conducted by Lokniti-CSDS election tracker after the state elections in 2013, it was found that 66.4 percent of the voters were from urban areas of Delhi, while 33.6 percent were from rural areas. About 89.9 percent voted, while 9.5 could not vote.  About 50 percent of the voters had finalised on the candidates even before the campaign began.

Education system

The survey showed that about 13.5 percent of the voters were non-literate. Majority of the voters were graduate or equivalent making up to 24.1 percent. About 17.6 percent were intermediate and had no college degree.


Job and Employment in Delhi

The survey showed that about 8.9 percent belonged to small business household while 7.6 percent belonged to medium business household. About 3.8 percent were mechanics, machine tool operators, drivers, etc.


Delhi Airports

Delhi has two airports – The Indira Gandhi (IG) International Airport and the Safdarjung Airport. The IG airport has a completely operational Terminal 3, which makes it India’s and South Asia’s largest aviation hub. The new terminal has had the capacity to handle about 34 million passengers annually since 2010 Commonwealth Games.

Poverty in Delhi

As per the Economic Survey 2012-13, the poverty in Delhi declined to 14 percent from the 50 percent it was at 31 years ago. In 1973-74, the people who lived below poverty line (BPL) amounted to about 22.84 lakh people, which was 49.61 percent of the population. However, in 2004-05, it stood at 22.93 lakh which is 14.7 percent of the population. This despite the fact that migration to Delhi has been the maximum in the past three decades. This reduction in poverty can be attributed to the poverty alleviation programmes initiated by the Centre and the State government. In 2004-05, the monthly earning of a BPL person living in rural area was Rs 410.38, while in urban area, it was Rs 612.91.

Health and Sanitation

A report by NGO Darsa in 2012 stated that 60 percent of the slums in Delhi do not have sewerage facilities. The services for sanitation and hygiene among the slum dwellers and the poor are almost missing. With no proper toilets available, most of the girls tend to drop out of school as soon as they attain puberty. Cleanliness in the city also has a long way to go and the Delhi High Court has recently restored its earlier order of having streets, premises, drains and parks cleaned on a daily basis.

Women security and social security

As per the Economic Survey 2012-13, the empowerment and welfare of women and children has been a very successful area in the 11th Year Plan. Some of the initiatives undertaken include: introduction of about 54 Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) projects; anganwari workers’ being paid more; launch of various programmes for girls like ‘Kishori Yojna,’ ‘Laldli Yojna,’ etc. Support and guidance from the Delhi Women Commission, Delhi State health Mission and other bodies as well as statutory and non-statutory measures are believed to have contributed towards empowerment and welfare of women.

Crime rate

In a data released by the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) in July 2014, Delhi reported an increase in crime rate. In 2013, on a daily basis, the city reported 29 heinous crimes, 17 cases of abduction, three cases of robberies and rapes. In the same year, Delhi registered 1245 robberies cases, 517 murder cases, 585 attempts to murder, 1626 rape cases and 6294 kidnapping cases. Riots and arson too have been reported every second day.

Last Updated on October 29, 2014