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Delhi mayor poll postponed after AAP vs BJP fight

Last updated on: January 06, 2023 15:15 IST

The maiden meeting of the newly elected Municipal Corporation of Delhi House was adjourned without electing the mayor and the deputy mayor amid loud protests by Aam Aadmi Party councillors over the presiding officer's decision to administer oath to the 10 aldermen first.

IMAGE: AAP and BJP councilors clash during the election of Mayor and Dy Mayor at the Civic Centre, in New Delhi, Friday, Jan. 6, 2023. Photograph: Ravi Chaudhary/PTI Photo

The MCD House meeting has been adjourned for the day. The next date will be announced later, Bharatiya Janata Party councillor Satya Sharma, the presiding officer overseeing the process, said.

The House was earlier adjourned for an hour after four aldermen had taken their oaths.

"We will resume the meeting soon and the rest of the aldermen will take their oaths first," Sharma had told PTI.

Chaos ensued during the meeting as AAP councillors and MLAs raised slogans and entered the Well when Sharma began the process of administering oaths to the 10 aldermen.

The AAP members were protesting against administering oaths to the alderman, and not the elected representatives, first.

The meeting began with Sharma being administered the oath as presiding officer for the elections to the posts of MCD mayor and deputy mayor.


After Sharma invited alderman Manoj Kumar to take oath, AAP MLAs and councillors began to protest. Many rushed to the well of the House, shouting slogans.

The oath-taking was stopped and the meeting disrupted as the AAP councillors stood on the tables, including those of the presiding officer.

The AAP members got into heated arguments with their BJP counterparts, who retaliated by raising slogans against the AAP and its convener Arvind Kejriwal. Amid the chaos, both sides alleged manhandling by the other camp.

AAP MLA Saurabh Bhardwaj claimed that nominated members (aldermen) never cast their votes in the MCD House.

"Neither in the mayor election nor in the deputy mayor election. They are not allowed to cast votes for standing committee members as well. The BJP is trying to increase the number of its votes by wrong means," he alleged.

Condemning the AAP for creating a ruckus, BJP MP Manoj Tiwari told reporters, "Why are they scared to face the elections? It again proves that they have no faith in established rules and norms."

Heavy deployment of police was in place for the meeting at the Civic Centre building, the MCD headquarters.

The MCD House comprises 250 elected councillors. The BJP's seven Lok Sabha MPs from Delhi and the AAP's three Rajya Sabha MPs and 14 MLAs nominated by the Delhi assembly speaker will also participate in the elections to the posts of mayor and deputy mayor.

Six members of the standing committee will also be elected.

The Congress, which has nine councillors, has decided not to take part in the voting.

The AAP has a clear majority in the 250-member House.

Some BJP leaders, however, claimed that an intense contest could be witnessed for the mayor and deputy mayor posts since the anti-defection law did not apply to the MCD and floor crossing could be possible.

The mayor election is held through a secret ballot and councillors are free to vote for any candidate.

The AAP ended the BJP's 15-year-rule in the MCD, winning 134 wards in the civic polls in December.

The BJP managed to win 104 wards.

Later, Gajendra Daral, the Independent councillor from Mundka, joined the BJP.

The electoral college for the election of mayor comprises the 250 elected councillors, seven Lok Sabha and three Rajya Sabha MPs from Delhi and 14 MLAs.

The Delhi assembly speaker has nominated 13 AAP and one BJP member to the House.

The total votes in the mayoral polls are 274. The numbers game favours the AAP, which has 150 votes against the BJP's 113.

The Congress has nine votes for its nine councillors while there are also two Independents.

Though the Delhi BJP is unlikely to bag the mayor and deputy mayor posts, it will try to win three posts of members of the crucial standing committee.

There are 18 members in the standing committee, of which 12 are elected from the zones and six from the House.

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