National

BJP Wants To 'Capture' MCD Through 'Unconstitutional' Means: AAP MLA Saurabh Bhardwaj

The Supreme Court on Friday agreed to list for hearing on February 3 a plea of Shelly Oberoi -- the AAP's candidate for mayor -- seeking directions to ensure mayoral election in Delhi in a time-bound manner.

AAP Spokesperson Saurabh Bhardwaj
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People have chosen the AAP to helm the Municipal Corporation of Delhi but the BJP wants to "capture" it through "unconstitutional" means, party leader Saurabh Bhardwaj said on Friday.

"We have moved the Supreme Court, seeking directions to elect a mayor in a time-bound manner. It makes clear that we are in favour of the polls but the BJP doesn't want it," the AAP leader said in a video message.

Bharadwaj said the BJP's tenure in the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) ended in 2022. "Since then, the saffron party has tried to keep the municipal body under its control on one pretext or the other -- be it unification, delimitation or mayoral polls." 

The Supreme Court on Friday agreed to list for hearing on February 3 a plea of Shelly Oberoi -- the AAP's candidate for mayor -- seeking directions to ensure mayoral election in Delhi in a time-bound manner.

A bench headed by Chief Justice of India (CJI) DY Chandrachud and comprising Justice Dipankar Datta took note of the submissions of senior advocate AM Singhvi, appearing for Oberoi, on early holding of the mayoral poll.

It will be listed on February 3, the CJI said.

Bhardwaj said that the country today knows AAP has been wanting to get the mayor elections held "freely and fairly" but the BJP is seeking to "illegally cling to power in MCD". 

"AAP has demanded timely elections of Mayor, Deputy Mayor and Standing Committee of MCD in the Supreme Court. AAP has been forced to seek Supreme Court intervention to end BJP's illegal control of MCD. 

"The Supreme Court should give strict orders to the BJP's central government and the MCD so that the new government is formed in the MCD immediately. Aldermen do not have the right to vote in the constitution and DMC Act, but BJP does not follow the constitution and law," he said.

Thanking the Supreme Court for promptly scheduling a hearing next week, he said that their plea calls for the swift and timely conduct of the mayor, deputy mayor and standing committee election in Delhi, which has been long overdue. 

"We have implored the Supreme Court to ensure that the MCD elections take place without further delay, as the people of Delhi urgently need a new mayor to lead the city.     "Additionally, we have requested the court to ensure that the mayoral election is conducted in accordance with the Constitution and the Delhi Municipal Corporation Act, 1957, which stipulate that aldermen of the MCD can not participate in the mayoral election," he said.

The first meeting of the newly-elected MCD House was adjourned on January 6 amid a ruckus by the AAP and BJP members.

The AAP won 134 of the 250 wards in the MCD polls held in December. The BJP managed to win 104 wards. 

"The people of Delhi have given AAP a mandate to govern the MCD with 134 councillors, but the BJP is actively obstructing our efforts to form a government and conduct the mayoral election through unethical and fraudulent means. It is unacceptable that they are using underhanded tactics to subvert the will of the people," he said.  

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The AAP has sought that the top court issue directions to elect the mayor in a time-bound manner and that the aldermen should not be allowed to vote as they do not have the right to do so under Article 243R of the Constitution and Section 3 of the DMC Act. 

The mayoral election in the national capital was stalled again on Tuesday for the second time in January as the MCD House was adjourned indefinitely by the Lieutenant Governor-appointed presiding officer following a ruckus created by some councillors.

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