No clarity on next sitting of MCD House after second disruption

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With the MCD mayoral election being disrupted for the second time, officials said there is no clarity on when the next session of the House will be called and the process completed.

It is only after the election of the mayor and deputy mayor that normal proceedings of the House can get underway, and no concurrence of the Delhi government and the L-G office will be required to hold meetings, and the civic body can get down to business.

Asked when the next meeting of the House will be convened, so that elections can be held, BJP councillor Satya Sharma, who is also the presiding officer, said rules were being examined.

According to a senior government official, the amended Delhi Municipal Corporation (DMC) Act, however, allowed for a sitting of the House “whenever convenient” subject to the concurrence of the L-G in his capacity as administrator.

Sharma said that she would recommend legal action against everyone involved in disrupting the House on Tuesday.

“I will send a report to the Lieutenant Governor on the proceedings tomorrow and recommend that legal action be taken — whether it is against councillors, MLAs or MPs — for disrupting the proceedings. I had not recommended legal action last time but I cannot let it go this time, especially when AAP councillors disrupted proceedings for no reason,” she said.

“Everything was fine during the oath-taking, which I got conducted as per rules and procedures without any hassle; I had even got the boxes for voting (for the mayor and deputy mayor) placed… the time, effort and the resources of the House cannot be wasted like this,” she added.

The elections for the post of mayor and deputy mayor are usually held on the same day as the swearing-in of the councillors. Elected councillors, 14 MLAs and all Delhi MPs are authorised to vote for the candidates nominated by parties. Aldermen, who are nominated members, cannot vote in these elections.

While the mayor is the nominal head of the corporation, with powers to convene meetings and sign off on decisions made by the executive bodies, it is the Standing Committee which wields the real power when it comes to executive decisions.

The election of six members of the Standing Committee was supposed to be held on Tuesday. The Standing Committee, with 18 members, has powers to clear financial proposals and policies.

Meanwhile, sources in BJP said that there is an apprehension that the poll could be delayed till April, when, with the beginning of the new financial year, the civic body is supposed to get another mayor.

“Given the delay which has already been caused, by the time the MCD gets a new mayor, the time to elect another one will arrive. There is an apprehension that the mayoral polls will be postponed till April because these have now been disrupted twice in a row,” a party source said.