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Delhi mayor should accept report on standing committee election: BJP

The mayor has said the election exercise would begin afresh as "ballot papers" and other key documents were torn or lost in Friday's melee


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Press Trust of India New Delhi
The BJP on Saturday claimed that three candidates each of the saffron party and the AAP were to be "elected" as members of the MCD's standing committee, based on calculations by technical experts a day prior, and that the mayor should accept this result and announce it.
Addressing a press conference here, Virendra Sachdeva, the Delhi BJP's working president, alleged that the re-election called by Mayor Shelly Oberoi to elect six members of the standing committee was "undemocratic" and "unconstitutional".
"BJP members will go to the House on Monday. Maybe the mayor will agree to our demands. But we may explore legal avenues if our demands not met," he said.
The press conference comes a day after a fight broke out in the MCD House as BJP and AAP members kicked, punched and pushed one another amid shouting after Oberoi declared one vote invalid in the election to the key six-member municipal committee on Friday.
During the ruckus, which forced adjournment of the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) House proceedings till February 27, a councillor, Ashok Manu, collapsed. He was rushed to a nearby hospital.
The mayor has said the election exercise would begin afresh as "ballot papers" and other key documents were torn or lost in Friday's melee.
Senior BJP leader Harshdeep Malhotra and Sachdeva, during the press conference flashed a document, according to which three members each from the AAP and the BJP were set to be elected as standing committee members based on preferential voting.
The document, which is also being circulated on social media, has been purportedly signed by a "technical expert".
However, the authenticity of the document dated February 24 could not be verified from the civic authorities.
"As per this report by technical experts, AAP candidate Sarika Chaudhary has got the lowest value share and was thus out," Malhotra said.
"The mayor should have declared the result," he said and alleged that she was adamant on declaring one vote invalid.
The AAP had nominated Aamil Malik (Sri Ram Colony ward), Raminder Kaur (Fateh Nagar ward), Mohini Jeenwal (Sundar Nagari ward) and Sarika Chaudhary (Daryaganj ward) as its candidates.
Kamaljeet Sehrawat (Dwarka-B ward) and Pankaj Luthra (Jhilmil ward) contested for the BJP.
Independent councillor Gajender Singh Daral, who later joined the BJP, was also in the fray.
Sachdeva claimed that the mayor can only "declare results" given by technical experts.
However, AAP MLA Atishi told reporters after Friday's pandemonium that a mayor, as a presiding officer of the House, "has the power to declare a vote invalid" and if the BJP members disagreed, they could go to a court to challenge it but "they resorted to violence".
During the media interaction, Sachdeva also alleged that many AAP councillors "misbehaved with his party members" and "inappropriate language" was used and some of the BJP's women councillors were "touched inappropriately".
The AAP has has charged the BJP councillors of misbehaving with their councillors and even "attacking" mayor Oberoi, a party councillor.
Sachdeva alleged that a fresh election to elect six members of the standing committee would be "unconstitutional and undemocratic" and "we will vehemently oppose this move".
Asked if they will approach Delhi Lt Governor VK Saxena over these issues, Sachdeva said, "if they (AAP) are adamant, then we will have no other way."

The standing committee has powers to grant financial approval to projects, set up sub-committees on several issues and finalise policies.
A mayor's powers are only limited to calling meetings of the MCD House and disqualifying members if they do not furnish details of their assets.
The MCD House had also witnessed ruckus on Wednesday night as members of the BJP and the AAP on exchanged blows and hurled plastic bottles at each other.

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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First Published: Feb 25 2023 | 4:29 PM IST

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