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Mayor of Delhi: Election process and role in administering national capital

The nominees for the post of mayor in Delhi are Shelly Oberoi and Ashu Thakur from AAP, and Rekha Gupta from the BJP

Delhi | Delhi municipal elections | BJP

BS Web Team  |  New Delhi 

Voting, elections, Polls, Votes
Photo: Twitter

The elected councillors will take the oath of their offices on Tuesday at the Municipal House of Delhi, following which the national capital will get a mayor as a whole after a gap of 10 years.

Also, this time it will be a woman mayor and she will step in the shoes of freedom fighter Aruna Asaf Ali who was chosen to the top post in 1958 when the Municipal Corporation of came into being.

The position of mayor wielded a lot of influence and carried huge prestige till 2012 when the corporation was split into three separate civic bodies, North, South and East municipal corporations, with each having its own mayor.

However, last year, they were reunified and the Municipal Corporation of (MCD) again came into existence.

The post of mayor in the national capital sees five single-year terms on a rotation basis, with the first year being reserved for women, the second for the open category, the third for the reserved category, and the remaining two again for the open category. will thus get a woman mayor this year.

The December 4 civic polls were the first after the three corporations were unified into the MCD and a fresh delimitation exercise was carried out, reducing the total number of wards from 272 in 2012 to 250.

Following the unification, civic polls were held on December 4 and the counting of votes took place on December 7.

The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) won the polls by bagging 134 wards and ending the BJP's 15-year rule in the civic body. The won 104 wards to finish second, while the Congress won nine seats in the 250-member Municipal House, which will convene on January 24 for the second time after the civic polls.

The nominees for the post of the mayor are Shelly Oberoi and Ashu Thakur from AAP, and Rekha Gupta from the . Oberoi is the AAP's main contender.

The maiden meeting of the newly-elected 250-member MCD House on January 6 was adjourned without electing the mayor and the deputy mayor amid loud protests by Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) councillors over the presiding officer's decision to administer the oath to the 10 aldermen first.

Presiding officer Satya Sharma said on Monday that the Lt Governor-appointed aldermen will take oath first, despite the fierce opposition by the in the last meeting.

How is the mayor elected in Delhi?

The party that bags the highest number of seats in the MCD elections proposes a name for the post. If the other party also proposes a name, elections are held. The elected councillors take part in the voting process.

In addition to them, 14 MLAs, and 10 Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha MPs from Delhi are also eligible to vote in the this year. Nominated members do not usually cast votes. But this year, it is unclear if they will be voting or not as Delhi High Court had earlier given them the right to do so.

The polling takes place through a secret ballot. The correct mark has to be stamped on the ballot and the anti-defection law doesn't apply to the councillors. The presiding officer has the responsibility to decide the procedure. BJP's Satya Sharma has been given the responsibility to do so this year.

In the event of a tie, the officer allows a special draw of lots and the candidate that receives an additional tie-breaking vote is elected the mayor.

What are the duties of a mayor?

The mayor is responsible for convening a special meeting at the corporation if at least one-fourth of members express their willingness for it. Moreover, it can suspend the meeting if a quorum of more than one-fifth of the total councillors is not reached.

Mayor can also disqualify a councillor if they fail to furnish details of their assets within 30 days of taking office. They can, however, suggest new projects and ask the officials to expedite civil work.

The mayor also directs the elections to the 18-member Standing Committee that manages the corporation and provides financial support to the policies and civil projects. Six out of 18 members come from the MCD house.

They cannot, however, draw up budget plans, hire and fire department chiefs or veto policies. Nor can they take administrative decisions.

The councillors have repeatedly expressed that the mayor should be given more powers and responsibilities.

(With agency inputs)

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First Published: Tue, January 24 2023. 15:02 IST