Stage set for Delhi mayoral election on April 26

The polls will be a direct contest between incumbent Shelly Oberoi of the AAP and BJP’s Shikha Rai

Municipal corporation of Delhi MCD elections
Voting will be held at the Civic Centre, the headquarters of the MCD | Pic: Nikhil B/Wikimedia Commons

The high-stakes Delhi mayoral election — a direct contest between incumbent Shelly Oberoi of the AAP and BJP’s Shikha Rai — is set to be held on Wednesday (April 26).

Oberoi was elected as the Delhi mayor on February 22 after three failed poll attempts over disputes regarding nominated members’ voting rights.

Oberoi defeated BJP’s Rekha Gupta by 34 votes. Oberoi polled 150 votes, while Gupta received 116 of the 266 votes polled. The AAP is the ruling party in the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD).

Delhi mayoral poll norms

Delhi usually gets a new mayor after the end of a financial year. Until a new mayor is elected, Oberoi will continue to hold charge, official sources said on April 3.

The post of Delhi mayor usually involves five single-year terms rotationally, with the first year reserved for women, the second for the open category, the third for the reserved category, and the remaining two again for the open category.

The municipal secretary’s office has received four nominations — two each for the posts of mayor and deputy mayor. The last day for filing nominations was April 18. Voting will be held at the Civic Centre, the headquarters of the MCD.

The candidates

Oberoi and her AAP colleague Aaley Mohammad Iqbal filed their nominations earlier this month for the posts of mayor and deputy mayor, respectively, for a possible second consecutive term, which is for the open category.

Senior BJP leader Rai, councillor from the Greater Kailash-1 ward, is the party’s mayoral candidate. Delhi BJP president Virendra Sachdeva has nominated Soni Pandey, an activist of the Purvanchal Morcha and councillor from ward number 249, for the deputy mayor’s post.

The presiding officer for the mayoral poll is chosen by the lieutenant governor. Delhi L-G VK Saxena on Monday approved the Delhi government’s proposal to nominate AAP councillor Mukesh Goyal as the presiding officer.

The legalities

According to norms, a new mayor and deputy mayor are elected in the first MCD meeting once their terms end. The meeting scheduled to be held on April 26 will be the first since the beginning of the financial year 2023-24, said former North Delhi mayor Jai Prakash said.

According to the Delhi Municipal Corporation (DMC) Act, 1957, the mayor and deputy mayor are to be elected in the very first session of the House after the civic polls.

The civic polls held on December 4 last year were the first after the three corporations were unified into the MCD and a fresh delimitation exercise was carried out, reducing the number of wards from 272 in 2012 to 250.

The AAP emerged victorious in the high-stakes polls.

The unification of the North Delhi Municipal Corporation (104 wards), South Delhi Municipal Corporation (104 wards), and East Delhi Municipal Corporation (64 wards) happened last year, with a notification issued to that effect in May.

(With agency inputs)