AAP's Shelly Oberoi elected Delhi's new mayor

AAP's Shelly Oberoi (centre) with party councillors celebrates her victory in the mayoral election, at the Civic Centre in New Delhi, Wednesday, February 22, 2023. Photo: PTI

New Delhi: Nearly two-and-a-half months after the civic body polls, Delhi on Wednesday got its mayor with Aam Aadmi Party candidate Shelly Oberoi defeating BJP's Rekha Gupta in the much-anticipated election on Wednesday.

The AAP, led by Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, termed the results as a victory of Delhiities and hit out at the BJP, saying "goons" were defeated. The winning margin was 34 votes.

The arithmetic in the mayoral poll was favouring the AAP which had 150 votes against the BJP's 113 out of the total of 274 votes. There were two votes of independent councillors.

However, Oberoi received all the votes accounted for by her party, while the BJP got three votes extra against its total strength.

Meanwhile, the AAP's Aaley Mohammad Iqbal defeated the BJP's Kamal Bagri by a margin of 31 votes to become the deputy mayor of Delhi.

The electoral college comprised 250 votes from the elected councillors, seven BJP Lok Sabha members and three AAP Rajya Sabha members from Delhi and 14 MLAs, including 13 from the AAP and one from the BJP.

In the MCD House, the Congress has nine councillors.

Declaring the poll results, the presiding officer and BJP councillor Satya Sharma announced the names of eight councillors who were absent from the voting process. All these councillors were from the Congress.

Oberoi, a Delhi University teacher, is the first mayor of the unified Municipal Corporation of Delhi.

AAP Mayor candidate Shelly Oberoi with party leader Aaley Mohammad Iqbal, at the Civic Centre in New Delhi, Wednesday, February 22, 2023. Both Shelly Oberoi and Aaley Mohammad Iqbal have been elected as Mayor and Deputy Mayor. Photo: PTI

BJP's Gupta received 116 votes, three more than the total votes accounted for her party. She got two votes of the independent councillors and Congress councillor as well, MCD sources claimed.

Delhi got its mayor on the fourth attempt since the earlier elections were stalled amid a ruckus over voting rights being given to the LG-appointed nominated members.

Last week, Delhi Lt Governor V K Saxena gave his nod to convene the municipal House for holding the mayoral election following the Supreme Court order.

The top court 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 Oberoi.

In a shot in the arm for the AAP, the apex court also held that the members nominated to the MCD by the Lt Governor cannot vote to elect the mayor.

After the results were announced, Oberoi wearing a garland acknowledged people's greetings with folded hands.

Soon after the results were announced in the MCD House, AAP councillors offered sweets to the newly elected mayor while women councillors were seen jostling on the dais to take a selfie with her, as other members flashed victory signs.

After being elected, Oberoi said, "I thank CM Arvind Kejriwal, Manish Sisodia and the people of Delhi. In the next three days, we will visit landfill sites.

"All councillors will work from today only. The 10-guarantee programme will be our focus. The deputy mayor and standing committee elections will be held today itself. I also want to thank the judiciary."

Congratulating Delhiites, Kejriwal tweeted in Hindi: "The goons lost, the public won. In the Municipal Corporation of Delhi, the people of Delhi won and hooliganism was defeated. Congratulations to the people of Delhi on Shelly Oberoi being elected mayor."

His deputy Sisodia also congratulated Oberoi and the party workers on the win.

"The goons lost, the public won. Many congratulations to all the workers as AAP candidate has become the mayor in Municipal Corporation of Delhi. Once again whole hearted gratitude to the people of Delhi. Many many congratulations to the first Mayor @OberoiShelly of AAP," he tweeted in Hindi.

The Congress had announced earlier that all its nine councillors would abstain from the voting.

In the polling earlier in the day, one councillor from the Congress may have voted for the BJP, but there was no official confirmation, either from the party or from the MCD Secretariat.

Reacting to this, Delhi Congress chief Anil Chaudhary said they have learnt that one party councillor had participated in the voting on Wednesday and that they were trying to identify that person.

The AAP had emerged as a clear winner in the December 4 MCD polls, bagging 134 wards and ending the BJP's 15-year rule in the civic body. The BJP won 104 wards to finish second, while the Congress won nine seats in the 250-member Municipal House.

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