After much delay, Delhi will get its new mayor on Wednesday as the stage is set for the mayoral poll following a Supreme Court order after three failed attempts by the municipal body to hold the election to the top post in the past.
The election to the posts of mayor, deputy mayor and six members of the standing committee will be held on February 22 after Delhi Lieutenant Governor V K Saxena gave his nod to convene the municipal House last week.
The top court had on February 17 ordered the issuance of a notice within 24 hours for convening the first meeting of the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) to fix the date of elections for the mayor, the deputy mayor and the members of the standing committee of the civic body.
The court issued the order after hearing a plea moved by the ruling Aam Aadmi Party’s (AAP) mayoral candidate Shelly Oberoi, who had sought an early conduct of the election.
In a shot in the arm for the ruling AAP, the apex court also held that the members nominated by the L-G to MCD cannot vote to elect the mayor.
According to the Delhi Municipal Corporation (DMC) Act, 1957, the mayor and the deputy mayor are to be elected in the very first session of the House after the civic polls.
However, it has been over two months since the municipal elections were held on December 4 last.
A month after the high-stakes municipal polls, the House had convened for the first time on January 6. It had adjourned following acrimonious exchanges between members of the BJP and the AAP.
The second and third meetings called on January 24 and February 6 also failed to carry out the exercise, and were both adjourned without electing a mayor, triggering much political bickering among parties in the two months since the civic polls.
The crisis also impacted the annual budget proceedings and the schedule of taxes for year 2023-24 was passed by the Special Officer of the MCD on February 15, since the deliberative wing has not come into place.
According to the norms, the schedule of taxes has to be passed by the House before or on February 15.
However, the remaining budget is expected to be passed by the House before March 31, as required, since the new deliberative wing led by a mayor will come into place on February 22.
As per the direction from the L-G, the House that will convene on Wednesday will be the reconvening of the adjourned first House that was held on January 6.
”In exercise of powers conferred upon him under section 73 of the DMC Act, 1957, the Administrator, Hon’ble Lt Governor of NCT of Delhi, has refixed the adjourned first meeting of the Municipal Corporation of Delhi on Wednesday, the 22nd of February, 2023,” reads a notice issued by the civic body on February 18.
The election of mayor, deputy mayor and six members of the standing committee will take place in the meeting and the agenda will remain the same, it says.
The municipal House has witnessed unprecedented developments since January 6.
With inputs from News18