Updated: Fri, 09 Dec 2022 03:24 PM IST
THE AAM Aadmi Party registered a win in the recently concluded Delhi MCD Election 2022. Though narrowly, it came as a big confidence booster for the AAP, which unseated the BJP after fifteen years of its rule over the Delhi MCDs. However, with the win, the Aam Aadmi Party is facing a new challenge to put its elected Councillors in the post of Mayor and Deputy mayor.
AAP has reportedly started working on plans to get not only a mayor but also two deputy mayors elected from among their councillors. Meanwhile, BJP IT cell head Amit Malviya has suggested in a tweet that there would be a contest for the post of mayor. This cryptic comment has made the AAP wary. According to reports, Kejriwal’s party has increased vigilance on its recently elected councillors and has cautioned them about the BJP’s tactics.
Such planning of the AAP and BJP can be attributed to the complicated procedure of electing a mayor in the Delhi Municipal Corporation. The Mayor of MCD is elected by the councillors and nominated members or aldermen in a secret ballot. The nominated members include 14 MLAs from the Delhi legislative assembly, 7 Lok Sabha members from Delhi, and 3 Rajya Sabha members.
Even among the aldermen, AAP has an overwhelming majority but what gives BJP a scope for manoeuvring is the fact that cross-voting in this indirect election is a big possibility as there is no way to know who voted for whom. This is the main reason behind AAP’s jitters.
In his tweet, Amit Malviya talked about the Chandigarh Municipal Corporation as there too BJP has cornered the Mayor’s post even as the opposition - AAP, Congress, and Shiromani Akali Dal - make up the majority.
To protect its flock of councillors from the BJP, AAP is considering a police case against BJP leaders who have made these comments. Delhi cabinet Minister Gopal Rai said that the BJP should accept the people’s verdict instead of making such comments. “Comments like these reveal the true nature of BJP. However, BJP will not be successful here as we don’t have corrupt leaders”, he said.
Victorious AAP is also looking to have as many of its councillors elected in different posts of the corporation as possible. This will be somewhat of an uphill task as following the unification of the three different municipal corporations of Delhi, the number of posts has reduced.
Law mandates that in the first year of the five-year mandate of an MCD, a woman councillor has to be elected as the Mayor and in the third year someone from the scheduled caste community must be elected. All eyes will be on who the AAP chooses to be their mayoral candidate.
Shagufta Choudhary was one of the many women candidates in the MCD election but she stood out among the rest by winning with a huge margin of over 15,000 votes. Former BJP mayors - Neema Bhagat, Satya Sharma, and Kamaljeet Sherawat would also be strong contenders as mayoral nominees from within the BJP.