New Delhi, Dec 8 (PTI): Authorities in the Municipal Corporation of Delhi are likely to soon approach the Lieutenant Governor to seek a date on which the civic House can be convened so that councillors can take oath and a mayor be elected.
This will be the first municipal House consisting of 250 councillors who have been just elected after the high-stakes civic polls held on December 4. The House will be convened at the civic centre, the headquarters of the MCD at Barakhamba here.
Votes were counted on Wednesday and the AAP has emerged as a clear winner, bagging 134 wards and ending the 15-year rule of the BJP in the civic body.
A senior MCD official said, “The elections are over and now MCD will approach the LG, seeking a date on which the municipal House can be convened so that the councillors can take oath, and then a mayor be elected.”
According to the DMC Act 1957, “The Corporation shall at its first meeting in each year elect one of its members to be the Chairperson to be known as the Mayor and another member to be the deputy Mayor of the corporation.”
Section 3 of the Act talks about the “establishment of the corporation”, and in the 2022 amendment brought in by the government, this section has remained unchanged, the official said.
A constitutional expert and a former state Election Commissioner conjectured that if a mayoral poll is held late December or so, the cycle of mayoral election could be changed, which till 2012 was being held around April time.
Some experts also said that a clearer picture will emerge once the official process progresses further.
Poll authorities had earlier said the entire process of the election will be completed on December 15.
Experts and election watchers have said the mayoral poll will have to be held soon after the poll process ends.
In a closer-than-expected contest, the BJP, which bucked the trend predicted by exit polls, put up a spirited fight, winning 104 municipal wards, while the Congress managed to win just nine seats, down from 30 in the previous civic poll. Three independents also won.
The post of mayor is considered prestigious and a Delhi mayor wielded a lot of power until the erstwhile unified MCD, set up in 1958, was trifurcated into North Delhi, South Delhi and East Delhi municipal corporations in 2012 with a mayor each for three civic bodies. The civic bodies were reunified in May 2022.
The post of mayor sees five single-year terms on a rotation basis, with the first year being reserved for women, the second for open category, third for reserved category, and the remaining two also being in the open category.
Former mayor of North Delhi Jai Prakash, who served in the post from 2020-2021, said, according to the old DMC Act, which governs the MCD, besides elected councillors, some nominated members also are eligible to vote in a mayoral poll.
The AAP on Wednesday wrested power from the BJP in the high-stakes civic polls in the national capital and all eyes are now on who will be the next mayor of Delhi, even as some leaders of the saffron party claimed that its member could be elected to the top post.