The BJP on Friday retained its grip on the South Municipal Corporation with senior leader Subhash Arya being elected as mayor. He defeated former mayor and leader of the opposition Farhad Suri of the Congress by 19 votes.
Of the 101 votes polled, Arya secured 60 votes despite a strength of 50 councillors and Suri secured 41 though Congress only a house strength of only 36.
Four BJP MPs — Maheish Girri, Meenashi Lekhi, Ramesh Bidhuri, Parvesh Sahib Singh — and one Congress MP (Rajya Sabha) Parvez Hashmi cast their votes in the mayor polls.
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However, despite much speculation concerning which way the five AAP MLAs may vote, the party refrained from Friday’s election. Party spokesperson Deepak Bajpai said, “We do not have a stake in the MCDs. The civic bodies are a den of corruption and it is difficult to choose one party over the other as both the Congress and the BJP are equally corrupt. We will, however, participate in the next MCD elections.”
The House met at 2 pm and the Congress moved a motion to observe a moment of silence for Rajasthan farmer Ganjendra Singh who had died at the AAP rally on Wednesday. Voting began shortly after and Arya was announced winner at 3 pm. In last year’s polls, BJP had won by a single vote owing to MP Parvez Hashmi abstaining. The Congress was hoping to repeat its performance this year but lost by a significant number of votes.
Kuldeep Solanki of the BJP was elected as deputy mayor. Pushpa Singh of Congress and Ashish Sood and Dharamvir Awana of the BJP were elected unanimously as members of the standing committee.