No Delhi Mayor For Now, AAP-BJP Clash Stalls Election
AAP-BJP Clash: A heavy clash between the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) and the BJP today stalled the Delhi mayoral elections as rival councilors clashed and shouted slogans against Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Arvind Kejriwal during the first meeting of the newly elected civic council. The Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MDC) meeting ended abruptly and the election was postponed until further notice.
AAP and BJP workers were seen throwing tables and chairs and climbing on tables, punching and pushing each other inside the MCD Civic Center during a meeting of Delhi’s second-largest decision-making body.
The protests erupted when the caretaker chairman Satya Sharma, appointed by Lt. Governor VK Saxena, administered oath to the nominated members or councilors of the chamber. When Sharma invited the councilor to take oath, MLAs and AAP councilors ran into the house shouting protests. AAP members said that the elected councilors should have been sworn in before the nominated members.
The AAP had earlier opposed the Lt Governor’s appointment of 10 nominated members of the MCD without consulting their government in Delhi. Today’s fight follows a series of clashes between AAP and the Lieutenant Governor, who is the Centre’s representative in Delhi and reports to the Union Home Secretary.
The AAP alleged that the Lt Governor was trying to help the BJP, which lost the civic polls in December after three terms in power. AAP chief and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, in a letter shared on Twitter yesterday, alleged that the Lt Governor had deliberately selected 10 BJP-aligned nominees.
After naming the nominated members, Saxena appointed BJP councilor Satya Sharma as interim president to preside over today’s election. AAP had recommended senior advisor Mukesh Goyal for the post. “It is a tradition to nominate the most senior member of the House as speaker or speakers. But BJP is out to destroy all democratic traditions and institutions,” AAP MLA Saurabh Bhardwaj tweeted. BJP claims to win mayor’s office and AAP doesn’t trust its own councillors.
“Everything is being done according to the constitution. They are making justifications because they know they are morally defeated,” BJP leader Manoj Tiwari said. Arvind Kejriwal’s party has named Shelly Oberoi as its mayoral candidate. The BJP fielded Rekha Gupta at the last minute after earlier announcing that she would not fight for the job. The alternative AAP candidate is Ashu Thakur.
MCD House has 250 elected councilors. Seven BJP Lok Sabha MPs and three AAP Rajya Sabha members from Delhi and 14 MLAs nominated by the Delhi President will contest the mayoral election.