MCD mayoral elections: BJP fields Rekha Gupta against AAP's Oberoi
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Tuesday named Rekha Gupta as its candidate for mayor of the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD). A three-time councilor from Shalimar Bagh, Gupta is contesting against Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) candidate Shelly Oberoi. The mayoral polls are likely to be held on January 6. Per rules, the civic body must have a woman mayor in its first year.
Why does this story matter?
- The announcement has renewed the battle between the AAP and BJP in the national capital.
- The 2022 MCD polls were held on December 4 but recorded a cold response from Delhiites as the voter turnout was only 50%.
- Both the BJP and AAP were involved in an aggressive poll campaign, with the results coming out in the AAP's favor ending the 15-year BJP rule.
BJP picks Kamal Bagri as deputy mayoral candidate
While the BJP named Gupta as its MCD mayoral candidate on the last day of nominations, it has chosen Ram Nagar ward's Kamal Bagri for the deputy mayor's post. Meanwhile, Dwarka councilor Kamaljeet Sehrawat, Mundka ward's Gajender Daral, and Jhilmil's Pankaj Luthra have been picked as BJP contenders for standing committee member posts. Notably, Sehrawat is a former South Delhi Municipal Corporation (SDMC) mayor.
BJP's contradictory statements over Delhi mayoral race
The BJP decided to partake in the mayoral polls after making numerous contradictory remarks on various occasions. In the MCD polls, the BJP came second with 104 seats. But BJP IT cell chief Amit Malviya earlier hinted the mayoral race was still wide open. However, then-BJP Delhi chief Adesh Gupta later said the mayor would be from AAP as it won the MCD polls.
Here's what Amit Malviya tweeted about mayoral elections earlier
Now over to electing a Mayor for Delhi…— Amit Malviya (@amitmalviya) December 7, 2022
It will all depend on who can hold the numbers in a close contest, which way the nominated councillors vote etc.
Chandigarh has a BJP Mayor, for instance.
AAP's challenge to BJP
The BJP's candidate announcement also comes after it was recently challenged by the AAP to nominate a contender for the top MCD position. AAP Rajya Sabha member Raghav Chadha said during a news conference, "We have heard that the BJP is supporting an Independent candidate for the mayor post." "What are they scared of that they are not fielding their own candidate?" he asked.
Shelly Oberoi of AAP has numbers
The AAP, which currently has the most councilors in the MCD, last week named Shelly Oberoi as its mayoral candidate and Aaley Mohammad Iqbal as its deputy mayoral contender. Oberoi represents Delhi's East Patel Nagar, while Iqbal represents Chandani Mahal. The AAP won 134 of the MCD's 250 seats in the December 4 election, ending the BJP's 15-year reign in the Delhi civic body.