Delhi MCD Mayor Election: The voting for the Delhi mayor election keeps on getting stalled as the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) councillors remain at loggerheads over the voting rights of nominated members in the mayoral elections. What is this issue and what happens next? Read on to know.
Two months after the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) election, Delhi still doesn't have a mayor despite three rounds of assembly sessions in a month. After January 6 and January 24 polls, the MCD House again failed to elect a mayor, a deputy mayor and members of the Standing Committee for the third time on Monday amid uproar by the councillors.
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The voting for the Delhi mayor election keeps on getting stalled as the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) councillors remain at loggerheads over the voting rights of nominated members in the mayoral elections.
BJP VS AAP over aldermen voting right | What's the issue about
The AAP had first objected to Lt Governor VK Saxena nominating ten aldermen — nominated members — to the MCD house without allegedly consulting the city government. It alleged that Saxena appointed BJP leaders, who were not experts in civic issues, as aldermen.
In the first session of the MCD House, AAP and BJP councillors clashed and raised slogans over the order of oath-taking of the nominated councillors. The AAP had claimed that never in the "history of MCD have nominated members taken oath first". They believe that the nominated members cannot vote in accordance with the Constitution and the Delhi Municipal Corporation (DMC) Act, 1957.
The AAP further alleged that the BJP made the alderman take oath first to get them voting rights for the elections to the mayor and deputy mayor - thus giving an edge to the BJP candidates running for the post. The party had also opposed the appointment of BJP councillor Satya Sharma as the presiding officer for the first House meeting.
Despite the AAP's Opposition, Sharma said, "Aldermen will be allowed to vote in the elections for mayor, deputy mayor and Standing Committee members.
The BJP and AAP have been into the blame game over the issue. While Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia alleged the BJP had instructed its councillors to create a stir to stall the mayoral elections, Delhi BJP working president Virendra Sachdeva hit back, accusing the AAP of doing the same.
Who elects a mayor?
According to the Delhi Municipal Corporation (DMC) Act, 1957, the mayor and the deputy mayor are to be elected in the very first session of the House after the civic polls.
"Clause 23 of the Municipal Law provides that the Mayor/the Municipal Chairperson/the Municipal President, as the case may be, shall be elected by the elected Councillors from among themselves," a government report says.
What happens next?
"Municipal House in Delhi adjourned till next date," Presiding Officer Satya Sharma said. LG VK Saxena will announce the new date for the Mayoral poll soon. If the polls successfully happen next time, Delhi will get its first single mayor in 10 years after the delimitation of the MCD.
The AAP also plans to move the Supreme Court so that the polls can be held in a "court-monitored manner".
AAP accused Congress of colluding with BJP
The Congress had decided to abstain from voting in the Delhi mayor election. This will likely impact the election for six Standard Committee members and eventually benefit the BJP. AAP spokesperson Saurabh Bhardwaj alleged that a deal between the Congress and the BJP had been exposed by the Congress’s decision to walk out during mayoral polls.
The AAP has fielded four candidates and the BJP three. The Standing Committee, which has 18 members, has powers to clear financial proposals and policies, the Indian Express reported.
The MCD follows a preferential vote system for voting in Standing Committee elections. A candidate requires 36 votes to be nominated in the committee.
As per this, the AAP is expected to get three seats since it has 134 votes. However, the BJP will likely have trouble as it needs 108 councillors to get the same number of seats. The BJP has 104 elected councillors and the support of one independent.
Now, with nine Congress councillors not participating in the election process, "it brings the number of required votes to 35," an expert told the Times of India. This gives BJP the figure of three members since it has 105 councillors. AAP will be able to win only three, the India Express says.
The role of the Aldermen will become crucial when elections for the remaining 12 members are held later when committees from zones are elected.
First Published: Feb 6, 2023 4:07 PM IST
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