NEW DELHI: Political experts termed the Centre’s decision to regularise unauthorised colonies in the national capital as a move timed precisely to “woo” the residents ahead of the Assembly elections next year.
While announcing that the settlers would be awarded ownership status, the Union government said it was considering tabling a Bill in the Winter session of Parliament to push through the plan and implement it at the earliest.
Sanjay Kumar, of the Centre for the Studies of Developing Societies (CSDS), said the move is likely to favour the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), as the general perception built in the wake of the decision would help the saffron party reap electoral dividend.
“Settlers in unauthorised colonies account for 33 per cent of the city’s population and they are likely vote en-masse for the party they believe is working in their favour,” Kumar told this newspaper.Calling it a “political move”, former Delhi chief secretary Omesh Sehgal said, “Every year, an estimated 7 lakh migrants come to settle in this city.
If you keep regulating unauthorised colonies, how will you stop them? If there’s a plan in place to hold off migrants, then this is a welcome move. Half of Delhi’s population live in such settlements and if you promise regularisation then you better be prepared to provide basic amenities.”
Settlers make a major vote bank
Sanjay Kumar of CSDS said settlers in unauthorised colonies account for 33 per cent of the city’s population and they will vote for whichever party they think is working for them.