AAP calls Delhi HC stay on reelection of MCD standing committee members ‘victory for party’
The AAP on Saturday called the Delhi High Court stay on re-election of six members of the MCD standing committee a “major victory” for the party and also claimed that the party can run the affairs of the civic body till the court examined the matter.
The reins of the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) will be taken over by the mayor and deputy mayor till the time the High Court looks into the matter, thus ensuring that the House is run without any hindrances, PTI reported.
Reacting on the High Court’s decision, Mayor Shelly Oberoi said the verdict is a personal victory for her and the Aam Aadmi Party. She said everyone saw how the BJP councillors in a planned manner staged a personal attack on her and the AAP councillors just before the results for the standing committee were to be declared on Friday.
AAP senior lader and MLA Atishi also said that the court order was a victory for the party as the BJP was hoping that the HC would endorse an illegal demand of the party regarding counting of votes, but the court refused to accept their unconstitutional and illegal demand.
“The BJP had approached the HC with the desire that the court accept their demand, but this did not happen. The court eventually said that it will examine the matter and see what powers the Constitution of India gives to the mayor and the municipal secretary,” she told reporters.
She elaborated that from the very first day, the AAP had said that the BJP needed to abide by the laws of the Constitution and that it cannot do as it pleases.
The MCD House witnessed high-decibel protests by the BJP councillors after Oberoi declared that a vote cast during the election was “invalid”.
The bedlam turned into pandemonium as violent clashes broke out between councillors from the two parties. Oberoi had barely started to announce the results when the ruckus began
“The DMC Act states it very clearly that the Mayor is the Presiding Officer and has the power to decide which vote is valid and which vote is invalid,” Atishi said, and added that the Mayor had very clearly stated in the House on Friday that after the entire ruckus created by the BJP councillors where they stole the ballot box and ran away with it, the Mayor does not have any basis to declare the result of the voting process that took place for the members of the Standing Committee.
The Mayor clearly said that the sanctity of the electoral process was destroyed by the act of the BJP councillors and therefore, she has no other option but to order a revote.
She added that the Aam Aadmi Party is very happy with the decision of the High Court. “The elections, on whichever date, they take place will happen according to the rules of the DMC Act and AAP is happy that the elections will take place under the supervision of the High Court,” she said.
She also said that AAP was “very pleased” to see the BJP approach the court as until now what the country had seen was that “wherever the BJP loses an election they try to take back control through hooliganism and violence and by making a mockery of the democratic process”.
The legislator also said that the party was scheduled to meet the Delhi Police Commissioner on Saturday, but as Mayor Dr Shelly Oberoi was present at the High Court, the meeting could not be held and another appointment would be sought very soon.
“We had a scheduled meeting with the Delhi Police Commissioner today but it could not be held as the Mayor Dr Shelly Oberoi was at the High Court for this matter. So, now we will ask for another appointment to meet the Delhi Police Commissioner. Tomorrow is Sunday, so we are unsure at the moment whether the meeting will be held tomorrow or the day after,” she said.
Atishi said that the attack on Oberoi was not an attack on the Mayor of Delhi but on a woman inside the House, which is considered to be a sacred space according to the constitution.
“If lawmakers are not safe inside the House, then how will democracy function in this country,” she said.
Analysing the High Court decision, sources from the party asserted that the constitution of the standing committee has been delayed by a few months. The next hearing in the High Court will be held after about two months. The High Court has given the mayor four weeks to file her reply. The response will be given within two weeks and after that the rejoinder will be filed within two weeks. Then only will the next hearing take place,” a source claimed.
The source said that it was being expected that the court case will go on long as it will require subsequent hearings for arguments and counter arguments.
“During this period only the Mayor and Deputy Mayor will be empowered to run the MCD. There will hardly be any kind of hindrance in this setup. Till then, all proposals will directly come to the MCD House where AAP has a majority and AAP will effectively be able to control and run MCD through its Mayor and the House,” it claimed.
(With PTI inputs)