Amid loud chants from followers who had gathered at the SP Mukherjee Civic Centre with dhols and nagaras, BJP’s Sarita Chaudhary on Tuesday defeated Abhishek Dutt of Congress to become the mayor of South Delhi Municipal Corporation.
Councillor from ward No. 177 Sangam Vihar, Chaudhary — a 39-year-old BCom graduate who is also pursuing her LLB —got 64 out of a total of 112 votes while Dutt managed to get 48 votes.
After the results were declared, the mother of two was nearly flooded with bouquets and garlands. Fellow councillors across party lines congratulated her amid chants by a huge gathering of her followers outside the House.
“Parking is a major issue which plagues the south corporation. We will take concrete steps like individual parking spots in fresh layout plans and more sites,” Chaudhary said, adding that women’s safety was another issue she wanted to take up seriously.
When asked whether she agreed that women corporators were actually dummies controlled by their husbands, the new mayor said, “No it’s not the case. My husband is also an active political activist. We discuss things but the final decision is always mine.”
BJP-backed BSP candidate Sahi Ram won the election for the deputy mayor’s post by defeating Congress’ Praveen Rana.
While Ram secured 62 votes, Rana got 51 out of a total of 113 votes polled.
Five MPs and MLAs were eligible to vote in the polls. From Congress, MPs Parvez Hashmi, Ramesh Kumar, Sandeep Dikshit and Mahabal Mishra and Minister Arvinder Singh Lovely voted while BJP MLAs HS Balli, Satprakash Rana and VK Malhotra also casted their votes.
However, Union minister Ajay Maken did not cast his vote and MLA Mukesh Sharma only voted in the deputy mayoral polls.
According to provisions under Sub-Section (1) of Section 35 of the Delhi Municipal Corporation Act, the corporation shall at its first meeting in each year elect one of its members to be the mayor and another member to be the deputy mayor of the corporation.