Anything can Happen in Delhi Mayor Election: BJP Ahead of Crucial MCD Meeting

New Delhi: A day before the MCD meeting to elect the city mayor, Delhi BJP leaders on Tuesday asserted that “anything can happen”, hinting that the party was hopeful of springing a surprise despite AAP’s majority and the Supreme Court ruling against voting by aldermen. The arithmetic favours the Aam Aadmi Party, which has 150 votes against the BJP’s 113, out of a total of 274 votes in the mayoral polls.

The BJP wants that Delhi gets its mayor at the earliest but AAP on one pretext or another is stalling it, charged Delhi BJP working president Virendra Sachdeva. “We will ensure that the city gets its mayor in the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) meeting tomorrow. But, anything can happen there,” Sachdeva said when asked about the prospects of the BJP candidate Rekha Gupta.

In the civic body polls in December last year, the AAP ended BJP’s 15-year rule over MCD winning 134 of the 250 wards. The BJP could manage to win 104 wards while Congress got nine and independents won three. Delhi BJP spokesperson Praveen Shankar Kapoor also claimed that the result of the mayoral election will “surprise” people, but refused to elaborate on the strategy of the party.

A section of BJP leaders asserted that the chances of the BJP mayoral candidate were not “that bad”, claiming “deep dissent” among the AAP councilors. The BJP had earlier alleged that the newly elected councilors had bought tickets for MCD elections in December and now they wanted key positions in the civic body’s ‘deliberative’ wing comprising the mayor, deputy mayor, standing committee members and other committees.

“It will not be surprising if some councilors cross-vote in the election of the mayor,” said a senior Delhi BJP leader associated with the inner group of the party handling MCD matters.

The voting is done through a secret ballot and the anti-defection law does not apply in the MCD House. The AAP received a shot in the arm after the Supreme Court recently ruled against voting rights given to 10 aldermen by protem mayor and BJP councilor Satya Sharma.

The electoral college for the election of mayor comprises the 250 elected councillors, seven Lok Sabha and three Rajya Sabha MPs from Delhi and 14 MLAs. The Delhi Assembly Speaker has nominated 13 AAP and one BJP member to the House.