Why Was Shelly Oberoi, Newly-Elected Delhi Mayor, Attacked?

Fracas started at the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) House session between BJP & AAP members. The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) member Shelly Oberoi was elected as Delhi Mayor on 22 February, Wednesday, more than two months after the party won the MCD polls in December. She won with 150 votes, against 116 for BJP’s Rekha Gupta.

The voting process concluded on Wednesday 22 February 2023 in the fourth attempt after three failed attempts – on January 6, January 24 and February 6 – to hold the elections. Aaley Mohammad Iqbal was elected as the Deputy Mayor with 147 votes, out of the total 266 votes cast. Two votes were declared invalid. 

But hours later, at around 6:30 PM, the House descended into commotion just as the Standing Committee election began. The election for six members of the Standing Committee was interrupted because AAP and BJP members kept clashing over the poll with physical violence and prompting back-to-back adjournments. As per the visuals all over the internet, the Councillors started throwing ballot boxes in the well with heavy chaos and sloganeering.

The newly-elected Mayor Shelly Oberoi alleged that she was attacked and tweeted on Twitter about the attack. She quoted, BJP Councillors just tried to attack me while I was conducting the Standing Committee elections, as per Supreme Court orders! This is the extent of BJP’s Gundagardi that they are trying to attack a woman Mayor.

In the middle of the House proceedings BJP Corporator Shikha Rai reached the Mayor and tried to snatch the mic,” the Aam Aadmi Party alleged. The party also said it would report the incident to the police.

Supporting Shelly Oberoi’s claims, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said, “This is absolutely shocking and unacceptable!”

BJP members allegedly said that during the secret voting, the councillors were taking photographs of the ballots through their mobile, which is a violation of the secret ballot. Therefore, they demanded the votes cast be rejected and fresh elections conducted. While AAP members claimed that BJP councillors are trying to postpone the standing committee polls.

The Supreme Court had clearly said that all elections should happen in the first sitting. So, we want the elections today only, whether it happens at night or in the morning, AAP leader Saurabh Bharadwaj added.

Oberoi also refused and said that they were all “respected councillors and can keep their mobile phones with them.”

Delhi Mayor Shelly Oberoi adjourns the MCD House till tomorrow. In an interview with ANI, she blamed the BJP for repeated disruptions and chaos in the House. “They did not respect the house & did not respect democracy again. This is extremely shameful. We are not afraid of cross-voting at all, people from Delhi have given us the mandate & shown faith in us. They (BJP) have lost elections, they’ll be afraid,’ she said.

The Supreme Court on February 8 issued a notice to the Delhi LG seeking his response on the plea filed by AAP mayoral candidate Shelly Oberoi. Therefore, the court decided to postpone the elections to a date after February 17 2023. And the court verbally observed that nominated members should not be allowed to vote for the mayor and deputy mayor of the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD).