SDMC Mayoral polls, High-stake mayoral polls in SDMC today,South Delhi Municipal Corporation polling held today
South Delhi Municipal Corporation: High-stake mayoral polls in SDMC today
New Delhi: Stage is set for an even contest in the high-stake mayoral poll on Friday in the BJP-led South Delhi Municipal Corporation, where Congress has pitted a former mayor against a senior leader of the ruling party.
BJP, which has been leading all three corporations for the past few years, had swept the last mayoral polls, but Congress, incidentally had lost the South Delhi mayor seat by solitary vote.
High drama was witnessed during 2014 SDMC mayoral polls, in which BJP councillor Khushi Ram had defeated his Congress rival Dharamveer Singh by one vote. Congress MP Sandeep Dikshit had failed to exercise his franchise, leaving his party red faced after a photo-finish end to the contest.
Causing further embarrassment to the party, Congress' Rajya Sabha MP Parvez Hashmi had also not turned up to vote in last polls.
Congress though had managed to keep the post of the Deputy Mayor, with Praveen Rana edging out Bir Singh of BJP's ally Bahujan Samaj Party by 13 votes.
This time round Congress has fielded Farhad Suri, who earlier served as a Mayor, during the period of the erstwhile unified Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD).
Suri, currently, Leader of Opposition in SDMC is likely to offer stiff competition to his BJP rival Subhash Arya, presently chairman of the civic body's standing committee.
Arya, meanwhile has exuded confidence and said, "BJP will perform well in the mayoral polls and retain its supremacy in the civic body."
Suri on Tuesday, however, had alleged that SDMC was "resorting" to irregular electoral practice ahead of the polls.
He had further alleged that the ruling party was "pressurising" and "influencing" its councillors, to vote for BJP or face action. He also claimed that "huge money was also being given to the councillors".
Suri even wrote to Delhi Lt Governor Najeeb Jung, seeking immediate intervention in the matter to ensure a free and fair elections.
Currently, the 104-member SDMC House is down to 97 councillors as the rest left to contest Delhi Assembly elections. And, now with 5 MLAs and 5 MPs, there will be 107 electors. BJP has 50 councillors and Congress 35.
The unified MCD was trifurcated in 2012 into North, East and South Corporations.
The mayoral election is anticipated to take an interesting turn as one of the senior leaders of the Delhi SAD has claimed that all its councillors "intend to boycott" the elections.
Shiromani Akali Dal was BJP's ally in last Delhi Assembly polls and SAD has three councillors in SDMC.
The five-year tenure for the Mayor post sees five single- year terms on a rotation basis, with the first year being reserved for women, the second for open category, third for reserved category, and the remaining two also being in open category.