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Satbir Singh elected Mayor of Delhi

By Our Staff Reporter

NEW DELHI, APRIL 11. The senior Congress Councillor from Mehrauli, Satbir Singh, was today elected the new Mayor of Delhi amid high drama that witnessed cross-voting from the National Democratic Alliance partners, including the Bharatiya Janata Party. The Zaffrabad Congress Councillor, Raiza Sultana, was elected the Deputy Mayor.

While Mr. Singh defeated Meena Thakur of the BJP, Ms. Sultana trounced Ram Nivas Pehalwan of the BJP by a convincing margin.

The election of the Mayor and Deputy Mayor was preceded by enormous confusion at Town Hall as the families members and supporters of the two leaders, including their children and grandchildren climbed the tables and podium celebrating the victory of their candidates forcing the officials to beat a hasty retreat.

The day also witnessed an interesting drama that brought out fissures within the BJP. Not only are two BJP councillors understood to have voted in favour of Mr. Singh but also three of the NDA ally, Janata Dal (United), also voted for Mr. Singh and Ms. Sultana. While Mr. Singh polled a total of 114 votes, Ms. Thakur got 17 votes, three less than the total strength of the party in the House. The Congress candidate with a strength of 108 in the House polled 114 votes despite two Congress Councillors being absent from voting. Mr. Singh also received three votes of the independent candidates. One of the BJP Councillors, Kusum, stayed away from the election of the Mayor but voted during the election of the Deputy Mayor. As for Ms. Sultana, she got 112 votes compared to 19 secured by Mr. Ram Niwas Pehalwan of the BJP.

Soon after the announcement of the election of the Mayor and Deputy Mayor, there was total chaos in the House. Family members of both the winners along with the supporters virtually took over the proceedings in Town Hall climbing the tables and podium of the hall where the elections were held. This forced the officials of the Corporation to run for cover resulting in total confusion. All efforts to restore order inside the hall proved futile as the jubilant supporters and family members refused to listen to the officials.

The MCD Commissioner, Rakesh Mehta, had left early as he had to attend a meeting on the staging of the sixth One-Day International match between India and Pakistan at the Ferozeshah Kotla Stadium here on April 17.

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