February 7, 2023
NEW DELHI – The election of the Mayor and Deputy Mayor of the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) was postponed again for the third time in a row on Monday after the MCD House was adjourned till further notice following a ruckus between
the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) councillors.
Meanwhile, Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia announced that the AAP will move the Supreme Court against the BJP’s alleged bid to stall the Mayoral polls in the national capital. It was announced by Sisodia while addressing a press conference in the national capital after the MCD House was adjourned
without electing mayor and deputy mayor.
The Deputy Chief Minister claimed that the BJP councillors deliberately created a ruckus in the MCD to ensure the mayoral elections don’t take place. This is the third time in a row that the MCD House has been adjourned after a ruckus erupted over nominated members being allowed to vote in the election to the post of Mayor, Deputy Mayor and chairpersons of various Standing Committees.
As soon as the MCD House reconvened to elect Mayor, Deputy Mayor and the Standing Committee members, both the BJP and the AAP members resorted to sloganeering. An uproar erupted over the nominated members being allowed to vote in the election to the post. Following the ruckus, the chair adjourned the House until the next date.
The MCD Presiding Officer said the polls to elect mayor, deputy mayor and Standing Committee members will be held simultaneously. She also said that as per the DMC Act aldermen are eligible to vote in the mayor and deputy mayor polls. However, the AAP councillors protested and raised slogans against the aldermen being allowed to vote for the mayoral election.
The AAP’s councillor and Leader of the House Mukesh Goel said: “The Supreme Court order clearly says that aldermen can only vote in ward committee polls but cannot vote in the mayor polls. This is completely illegal.”
BJP members started sloganeering accusing the AAP of attempting to poach its councilors. The BJP leaders started raising slogans — “Khareed farokht band karo, humare neta kharidna band karo (stop trying to buy our leaders)” inside the House after which Presiding officer Satya Sharma adjourned the House for 10 minutes.
The presiding officer said that anyone who does not hold voting rights has to leave the House. AAP leader Akhilesh Pati Tripathi and Sanjeev Jha were asked to leave the House, as they do not have the voting rights. After this, the AAP councillors again started raising slogans against the BJP members.
“Elections cannot be held in such an atmosphere. The House is adjourned until the next date,” said presiding officer Satya Sharma. The BJP councillors and MPs left the House, while the AAP councillors were still sitting inside and refusing to leave.
Addressing the press conference in the national capital, Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia said: “The BJP is not letting a peaceful mayoral election take place. The BJP garnered 104 seats in the MCD elections while the AAP won 134 seats. The people of Delhi gave a clear mandate against the BJP and in favour of the AAP.”
The AAP councillors objected to presiding officer Satya Sharma’s decision to declare that the alderman would vote at the municipality meeting for the mayoral polls, Sisodia said. Targeting Delhi Lieutenant Governor VK Saxena, Sisodia said, “The presiding officer was nominated illegally by the LG but still we went ahead with his decision and insisted on a fair voting.”
“She (presiding officer) came to the meeting saying that the alderman will vote. The Article 243R of the Indian Constitution says that in any legislature of a state, the alderman shall not have the right to vote in the meeting of the municipality. The same is written in the MCD Act,” the Deputy CM said.
He said, “The presiding officer also declared that all three elections for Mayor, Deputy Mayor and the Standing Committee members will be held together. This is unconstitutional.” “According to the constitution, the three elections cannot be held simultaneously and are to be held in sequence after the mayoral election,” Sisodia added.
On the ruckus in the MCD, the Deputy CM said, “Today, all our councillors were sitting silently and only the BJP MLAs were shouting, yelling and trying to provoke our members.”
“The presiding officer declared that two AAP members cannot cast their vote (in the mayoral polls) as they have corruption charges against them. There is no such rule which bars them from voting. And if any such rule does exist, we would insist that some BJP members should refrain from voting as there are corruption charges against them,” the Deputy CM added.
After the Delhi Municipal House was adjourned without electing mayor and deputy mayor, AAP leader Atishi said the party will move the Supreme Court and seek the conduct of the polls within a week to ten days under its supervision.
The AAP leader, while addressing a press briefing, said, “The Aam Aadmi Party is going to the Supreme Court today. We will appeal to the apex court that the MCD elections should be held within one week to ten days under their supervision. Satya Sharma arbitrarily adjourned the House indefinitely.”
She said, “We will also challenge the BJP’s decision to give the voting rights to the aldermen.” “Last time we withdrew our petition against the BJP because by then the dates for mayor polls were approved and the voting rights of aldermen were also not clear whether the nominated members will vote or not, but today it is clear, they have illegally given the Voting rights to aldermen. We will move to the Supreme court and challenge the BJP’s decision,” she said.
She alleged, “It was their pre-planning to stall the mayoral election as many of their MPs were not present in the House. Manoj Tiwari, Gautam Gambhir, Hans Raj Hans were not present in the House, that’s why they did not allow the election to take place,” she claimed.
Meanwhile, AAP’s Rajya Sabha MP Sanjay Singh said, “The nation has again witnessed how the BJP did not allow elections to be held by strangulating democracy, Constitution and the DMC Act.”
“The Presiding Officer, who has the right to conduct the election of Mayor only, said that the election of Mayor, Deputy Mayor and Standing Committee members will be held simultaneously and aldermen will also vote. This is a
complete violation of the constitution. Now this whole matter will go before the court, we hope that we will get justice from there,” Singh added while addressing the media.
The first two sessions of the MCD House held on January 6 and January 24, respectively, were also adjourned.