Delhi Lieutenant Governor VK Saxena on Saturday accepted the recommendation by Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and fixed February 22 for a meeting of the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) to hold the election for Mayor, deputy Mayor and members of the standing committee. The announcement came after the Supreme Court on Friday gave a 24-hour deadline to declare a date for covering the municipal House as the newly elected Delhi civic body failed thrice to elect a new mayor due to tussle between the AAP and BJP.
The LG’s nod came hours after Chief Minister Kejriwal recommended to him that the mayoral election be held on the said date. “Recommended MCD mayor elections to be held on 22 Feb,” Kejriwal said in a tweet earlier in the day.
The Supreme Court on Friday ruled in favour of the ruling Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) and said the members nominated by the LG to the MCD could not vote to elect the mayor. A bench of Chief Justice DY Chandrachud and Justices PS Narasimha and JB Pardiwala directed that the election of the mayor shall be conducted at the first MCD meet, and once elected, the mayor shall preside over the deputy mayor’s election.
Hearing a plea moved by the ruling Aam Aadmi Party’s (AAP) mayoral candidate, Shelly Oberoi, seeking an early conduct of the election, the bench rejected the submission of Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for the Lieutenant Governor, and Additional Solicitor General Sanjay Jain, representing the municipal body, that aldermen (members nominated by the LG to MCD) can vote in the mayoral polls.
“The Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) is an important global body and it is desirable that the election to the post of mayor is held at the earliest. As a national capital it does not look good if the mayoral polls are held up,” the CJI observed.
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal welcomed the apex court’s order and called it a “victory of democracy.”
Doubling down on the LG, Kejriwal on Saturday accused him of “forcibly” preventing the city government from presenting its views before the Supreme Court in the MCD mayoral poll case and said the latter tried to “interfere in the administration of justice” and committed “contempt of court”.
“The Delhi government had asked the urban development secretary to hire Gautam Narayan in the case. But the LG, on February 9, directed the official to appoint Solicitor General Tushar Mehta as the government’s lawyer to defend the case,” Kejriwal said.
With inputs from News18