The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Tuesday named three-time councillor Rekha Gupta as its candidate for mayor of the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD). She has been councilor from Shalimar Bagh. She is contesting against Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) candidate Shelly Oberoi. Oberoi represents Delhi’s East Patel Nagar, while Iqbal represents Chandani Mahal. The mayoral polls are likely to be held on January 6. As per rules, the civic body must have a woman mayor in its first year.
Candidates for deputy mayor post
The BJP 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. Sehrawat is a former South Delhi Municipal Corporation (SDMC) mayor. The AAP last week named Aaley Mohammad Iqbal as its deputy mayoral contender.
Contradiction in statements of BJP leaders
Earlier the BJP had said that the mayor would be from AAP as the latter won the MCD polls, bagging 134 of the MCD’s 250 seats in the December 4 election, ending the BJP’s 15-year reign in the Delhi civic body. Then, BJP Delhi chief Adesh Gupta later said the mayor would be from AAP as it won the MCD polls. The BJP came second with 104 seats. However, the party finally decided to partake in the polls. BJP IT cell chief Amit Malviya earlier hinted the mayoral race was still wide open. “Now over to electing a mayor for Delhi. 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,” he had tweeted.
BJP is scared: AAP
The AAP had recently challenged the BJP to field its own candidate for the top MCD post. At a press conference, Rajya Sabha MP Raghav Chadha claimed the BJP has said it would not field any candidate for the mayor’s post, but the party is scared now. AAP Rajya Sabha member Raghav Chadha said, “We have heard that the BJP is supporting an Independent candidate for the mayor post.” He asked: “What are they scared of that they are not fielding their own candidate?”