Connect with us

Editor's Picks

Chaos and Violence Mar Delhi’s Municipal Corporation Elections as AAP’s Shelly Oberoi Wins Mayoral Poll



Chaos and Violence Mar Delhi’s Municipal Corporation Elections as AAP’s Shelly Oberoi Wins Mayoral Poll

On Wednesday, Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) councillor Shelly Oberoi was elected as the new mayor of Delhi, and the party’s Aaley Mohammed Iqbal was chosen as her deputy, putting an end to a 12-week-long impasse that had stalled the voting process. However, the celebrations were short-lived as chaos and violence erupted in the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) House later in the day over the elections to the standing committee.

The newly-elected mayor, Shelly Oberoi, a first-time councillor from East Patel Nagar ward, secured 150 votes in the House, defeating the Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) Rekha Gupta, from Pitampura North ward, who got 116 votes. Meanwhile, Iqbal, the councillor from Chandini Mahal, was backed by 147 members in the MCD House against the BJP’s Ram Nagar corporator Kamal Bagri, who garnered 116 votes.

Wednesday’s mayoral polls marked the end of the centrally appointed special officer’s control of the MCD, a run extending to May last year when the Union government merged Delhi’s three erstwhile civic bodies and postponed the then impending elections. The AAP, which will be the first party other than the BJP or Congress to run Delhi’s civic body, will aim to start work on flattening Delhi’s trash dumps, said Oberoi.

However, the afternoon’s elections were just one part of a saga that began in March last year when the three civic bodies were unified, and the elections were delayed. The AAP then won the December 2022 elections, grabbing 134 of Delhi’s 250 wards, but the Capital remained without a mayor for weeks after three previous sessions at Civic Centre ended in protests, brawls, and violence.

Although the elections to pick Oberoi and Iqbal were smooth and peaceful, the protests and violence began when councillors sought to pick six elected members of the civic standing committee later in the evening. By 6 pm, members of both parties crowded the well of the House, and later came to blows, even as the mayor, who occupied the speaker’s chair after being elected, alleged she was “attacked” by members of the BJP.

“BJP councillors just tried to attack me while I was conducting the Standing Committee elections, as per Supreme Court orders! This is the extent of BJP’s Gundagardi that they are trying to attack a woman mayor,” Oberoi tweeted at around 10.30 pm.

Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal, in a tweet, called the alleged attack “absolutely shocking and unacceptable”.

The point of contention over this chaos was the mayor allowing cellphones inside the voting booth during the standing committee elections, a move BJP members said was a violation of the secret ballot process. The BJP accused the AAP of trying to push back the standing committee elections for “fear of defeat.”

Earlier in the day, the AAP hailed the outcome of Wednesday’s mayoral polls, with Kejriwal labelling Oberoi’s win the “defeat of hooliganism.” The BJP said it hopes she will act against “notices being issued to traders” in the city.

The House was also to elect members of the standing committee, a key body that controls the civic body’s purse strings, and convened for the process at 6.11 pm. However, till midnight, no headway was made on this front, with at least six adjournments and unfettered violence interrupting the House as councillors tried to evade oncoming footwear, water bottles, and other objects from all ends.

Continue Reading
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Copyright © 2023, All Rights Reserved