MCD seeks EC’s nod for mayoral polls, asks L-G to appoint presiding officer

The municipal body is required to obtain the sanction from the Election Commission of India (ECI) to hold mayoral polls as the Model Code of Conduct is in force for the Lok Sabha elections.
MCD office
MCD officeFile Photo

NEW DELHI: The Municipal Corporation of Delhi on Friday sought the permission of the Election Commission to conduct the mayoral polls on April 26. They also urged Lieutenant Governor (L-G) VK Saxena to appoint a presiding officer, a civic body official said.

The municipal body is required to obtain the sanction from the Election Commission of India (ECI) to hold mayoral polls as the Model Code of Conduct is in force for the Lok Sabha elections.

Official sources indicated the process to appoint a presiding officer may be affected or delayed since Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal is currently in the Tihar Jail.

According to the DMC (Delhi Municipal Corporation) Act, a presiding officer has to be appointed in the first house meeting of the municipal corporation every year to conduct elections for the post of mayor and deputy mayor.

“We have sought the ECI’s nod to conduct the mayoral polls as the model code of conduct for the Lok Sabha elections is in place. The civic body has also written to the L-G to appoint the presiding officer for the April 26 polls,” said an official privy to the developments.

Last year, the AAP-led city government and the office of the L-G were at the loggerheads over the naming of a presiding officer, with party leaders accusing L-G Saxena of not appointing the officer in accordance with the rules.

On Thursday, the Aam Aadmi Party declared its candidates for the polls, fielding Mahesh Khichi for the post of mayor and Ravinder Bhardwaj for deputy mayor. Khichi, 45, who represents Dev Nagar ward number 84 in the MCD House, has been associated with the AAP since its inception in 2012. He was also a part of the 2011 India Against Corruption (IAC) movement that led to the birth of the Arvind Kejriwal-led party.

Opposition BJP in the MCD House has fielded Kishan Lal for the post of mayor and Neeta Bisht for the deputy mayor post.

Kejriwal’s absense to delay procedure?

Official sources indicated the process to appoint a presiding officer may be affected or delayed since Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal is currently in the Tihar Jail. According to the DMC Act, a presiding officer has to be appointed in the first house meeting of the municipal corporation every year to conduct elections for the post of mayor and deputy mayor.

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