Delhi Mayor election: Aldermen to take oath first, says Presiding officer despite AAP’s opposition

Image Source : PTI The civic polls were held on December 4 and the counting of votes took place on December 7.

With the MCD House set to reconvene on Tuesday, Presiding Officer Satya Sharma has said the LG-appointed aldermen will take oath first, despite the fierce opposition by AAP in the last meeting that was adjourned amid chaos. The maiden meeting of the newly elected MCD council on January 6 was adjourned without the election of the mayor and the deputy mayor after AAP and BJP councillors clashed over presiding officer’s decision to administer the oath to the 10 aldermen first.

Speaking to PTI, Presiding Officer Satya Sharma expressed hope that proceedings in the MCD House this time will be held without any untoward incident. “Nominated members and aldermen will take oath first. Then other members will take the oath. I don’t think the AAP will create such an issue because it is their loss. I am hopeful we will be able to elect the Mayor tomorrow,” she said. The AAP had alleged that the nominated members were BJP workers and were being administered oath first to allow them to vote in the mayoral election.

Aldermen refers to people who are experts in their fields. However, they do not have voting rights in the mayoral election. The agenda of the January 24 meeting mentioned that councillors and members nominated as per DMC Act 1957 (amended in 2022) will take the oath. “Councillors and members nominated as per DMC Act 1957 (amended in 2022) will take the oath, followed by the election for the posts of mayor, deputy mayor and six members of the standing committee,” says the agenda.

However, it does not specify the sequence of oath-taking. BJP councillor Satya Sharma, who was appointed as the presiding officer, said all preparations for the meeting are completed. “We are ready for Tuesday. I have informed the LG and his MCD secretary about the ruckus of the last time,” Sharma said, adding that the councillors who were involved in the January 6 incident should bear the cost of the damage. Meanwhile, senior AAP leader Durgesh Pathak on Monday urged the BJP to let the house function “peacefully”, saying that AAP councilors want the Mayoral election to be held as soon as possible.

The civic polls were held on December 4 and the counting of votes took place on December 7. The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) had emerged as a clear winner in the polls, bagging 134 wards and ending the BJP’s 15-year rule in the civic body. The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) won 104 wards to finish second, while the Congress won nine seats in the 250-member municipal house. Shelly Oberoi and Ashu Thakur are AAP’s contenders for the post of mayor. The BJP has nominated Rekha Gupta as its contender for the post.

The nominees for the post of deputy mayor are – Aaley Mohammad Iqbal and Jalaj Kumar (AAP), and Kamal Bagri (BJP). Besides the mayor and deputy mayor, six members of the MCD’s standing committee are also slated to be elected during the January 24 municipal House. The Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) had come into being in April 1958 and its mayor wielded influential power and carried a huge prestige till 2012 when the corporation was spilt into three separate civic bodies, each having its own mayor.

In 2022, the Centre brought a legislation to unify the North Delhi Municipal Corporation (104 wards), South Delhi Municipal Corporation (104 wards), and East Delhi Municipal Corporation (64 wards) into a single entity though it had capped the total number of wards at 250, down from 272 wards earlier. Delhi is now set to get a mayor for the city as a whole after a gap of 10 years.

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