After months of hectic election campaigns in Delhi and Gujarat, AAP leaders plan to go slow on the next big decision they will make — picking the MCD mayor. AAP won 134 seats out of 250, recording its maiden win in the Delhi civic polls.
As per rules, a mayor is to be elected in the MCD House once it is notified. If an opposition party does not put up a candidate, the winning party’s pick will be selected. In the first year, the post is reserved for a woman.
The date of the first sitting of the new house will have to be decided by the L-G, as he is the Centre’s representative in Delhi. It is in the first sitting that councillors will be sworn in. Once the date for the first meeting is set, names of mayor and deputy mayor candidates will be submitted. The election will take place in the first sitting. Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha MPs, alongside 13 MLAs also cast their vote for the mayoral elections. The last mayor of a unified MCD was BJP’s Rajni Abbi and her tenure was between 2011 and 2012.
According to party leaders, they have enough time to come to a final decision. “There are a lot of official processes that need to be completed before the first sitting. We expect it will be set for the first half of January, not before that. In the meantime, the party will come to a final decision about the mayor. We do not want to rush this,” said a senior leader.
Another leader added: “There are many newly elected women from the party who are being considered for the role. Many have been with AAP from the start…”
Sources said the AAP will hold a meeting Saturday to discuss candidates. Those in the running include newly elected councillors Promila Gupta and Sarika Chaudhary, added sources.
Meanwhile, Delhi unit president Adesh Gupta Friday said the “BJP will not have a mayor, but it will play the role of a strong opposition”.
Following the results, BJP leader Manjinder Singh Sirsa had said the mayor will be from the party. His statement also fuelled talk of some winning candidates shifting allegiance from AAP to BJP. While alleging that some of its councillors had been approached by BJP, Deputy CM Manish Sisodia said none of AAP’s councillors would switch over.
Sources also said the BJP is keen on getting the first sitting as delayed as possible. “If the party is keen on getting its own mayor, it will need time to put things in place. In this situation, a delayed first sitting is ideal,” said a source.
The BJP won 104 of the 250 wards.