Delhi mayor election: No polls, House adjourned after shocking AAP v BJP fight
The Delhi mayoral election began on Friday morning with (unsurprisingly) members of the Aam Aadmi Party and the Bharatiya Janata Party jostling, jostling and fighting each other; Footage of the meeting showed shocking scenes, with councilors clambering over tables and podiums and taunting each other.
These clashes turned violent with scuffles and chair throwing.
The Aam Aadmi Party, which registered a landslide victory in last month’s local elections to end the BJP’s 15-year rule, has accused its rivals of ‘thuggery’. The BJP has said that the ruckus was started by the Aadmi Party leaders. Anyway within minutes chaos broke out and marshals had to control things.
The row started after chief officer Satya Sharma – appointed by Lt Governor VK Saxena on the recommendation of Mukesh Goyal’s Aam Aadmi Party – invited nominated councilors or aldermen (traditionally non-voting) to take office ahead of elected members (who can vote).
Aam Aadmi Party leader Saurabh Bharadwaj tweeted: “Never in the history of MCD has a vote in the council of appointed councillors. (BJP) dishonestly wants to take over MCD.”
“BJP is doing hooliganism. The nomination councilors were sworn in first. There was a ruckus because we objected and elected councilors should be sworn in first,” Aam Aadmi Party’s Praveen Kumar told news agency ANI.
In the footage shared by ANI, Kumar’s shirt – which BJP leaders said had ‘threw a souvenir’ and was their part in the violence – appeared to be torn.
In videos shared by ANI, AAP and BJP councilors are seen clashing over the invitation to aldermen, with some grabbing the shirts and collars of rival political leaders and others seen raising slogans on top of desks.
Security forces are struggling to bring the situation under control.
The LG’s office had earlier said he exercised powers under the Delhi Municipal Corporation Act (1957) – as ‘administrator’ – to appoint 10 members.
The Aam Aadmi Party protested that the appointments were made without consulting its government in Delhi and said the LG – the central government’s representative in the national capital – was trying to sway the election.
Delhi Mayor polls | BJP doing hooliganism. Swearing-in of the nominated councillors was being held first. A ruckus broke out when we objected to it & asked that the swearing-in of elected councillors should be held first. They (BJP) threw a momento: AAP councillor Praveen Kumar pic.twitter.com/h23dkdP5y5
— ANI (@ANI) January 6, 2023