MPs' absence costs Cong mayoral seat

Congress councillors were let down by party MPs at the election for the mayor’s seat of the South Corporation on Tuesday. While East Delhi MP Sandeep Dikshit came minutes after polling ended, Rajya Sabha member Parvez Hashmi did not turn up, causing the Congress to lose the coveted post to the BJP by just one vote.

The BJP’s Khushi Ram Chunar is the new mayor of South Delhi Municipal Corporation. The Congress’ Praveen Rana managed to bag the deputy mayor’s seat. The Congress candidate secured 51 votes while the BJP man bagged 52 votes.

“We are disappointed that the MPs didn’t come on time for the election. Had they come and voted, the result would have been different,” said Leader of the Opposition Farhad Suri.The election was no pushover for the BJP, as there was a tie during the counting of votes—both parties got 51 votes each. 

For a small moment, the Congress councillors thought they won, but outgoing mayor Sarita Chaudhary cleared the air saying there are two ballot boxes, and two votes went into the deputy mayor’s box by mistake.

In Sandeep Dikshit’s defence, Congress councillor from Zakir Nagar in the Okhla Zone, Shoaeb Danish, said his wife is admitted to hospital, and hence he could not come on time.

Dikshit declined to comment on the issue.

TheLeader of the Opposition said a Congress councillor  had come to vote after her delivery.

“Another woman councillor met with an accident in the morning, but still she managed to come and vote in favour of the party,” said Suri.

The councillors have decided to bring the issue to the notice of the Delhi Pradesh Congress Committee. “I told the Delhi Congress chief we have a fair chance of winning, and by the number of votes we secured I proved myself right. But we would like take up the matter of the MPs' absence with him,” said Suri.

This election also saw crossvoting from the BJP to the Congress. The Leader of the House Subhash Arya agreed that some of their votes might have gone to the Congress.

“Though we lost, the BJP should get the sense that the councillors are tired of its double-standard politics,” said Suri.

Reacting to this, Arya said, “The Congress should worry about their MPs. If it can’t make its own MPs come on time to vote, how can it run a government?”

Congress MPs Ajay Maken,Ramesh Kumar and Mahabal Mishra voted in the election.

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