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High drama, clashes, chaos mark first day of MCD session

Clashes between AAP, BJP councillors led to the adjournment of the House for the day without electing the mayor and deputy mayor for the House.

Statesman News Service | New Delhi |

High drama, chaos and clashes between the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) councillors on the first day of Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) proceedings eventually led to the adjournment of the House for the day on Friday without electing the mayor and deputy mayor for the House.
A huge ruckus was witnessed at the Civic Centre before the commencement of voting for the Delhi mayor elections, over the swearing-in of nominated councillors.
Shortly after the proceedings began on Friday to choose mayor and deputy mayor and the oath taking ceremony of new councillors, the House was adjourned amid the chaos and clashes between AAP and BJP councillors.
The chaos started after the AAP objected to the oath-taking of nominated councillors. After the presiding officer asked aldermen to take the oath, the AAP councillors started creating a ruckus claiming that it was not the custom for the aldermen to take oath before the elected councillors.
As the proceedings in the House began, AAP’s leader of the House, Mukesh Goyal raised the issue of oath-taking of the nominated corporators. Goyal said that in the last 25 years, it has never happened that nominated councillors were taking oath before the elected members.
The BJP and AAP councillors clashed with each other and raised slogans.
After the proceedings of the House started, BJP councillor Satya Sharma was administered the oath as the presiding officer. New Delhi District Magistrate Santosh Kumar Rai administered the oath to Sharma.
High drama ensued in the House for over an hour as Delhi was all set to elect its first single mayor in 10 years after the MCD was unified last year.
High pitched ruckus was heard in the MCD House as the presiding officer invited aldermen Manoj Kumar to take oath first. The presiding officer, MCD commissioner and other officials left the House after the ruckus.
Councillors from both parties clashed and then took to protests with sloganeering against each other ahead of the Delhi Mayor polls. Marshals had to make their presence felt as several councillors were injured in the process.
BJP has claimed that its councillors Inder Kaur, Anita Deoli and Kamaljeet Sherawat sustained injuries during the protest while AAP took to social media to list its injured.
“There was a fatal attack on our councilor in the MCD House. BJP councilors involved in the attack,” AAP MLA Saurabh Bharadwaj said.
The AAP has cried foul play over Delhi Lieutenant Governor VK Saxena’s decision to appoint BJP councillor Satya Sharma as the presiding officer of MCD and 10 aldermen to the civic body.
After the ruckus erupted on the first day of MCD House and the proceedings were halted over the nominated councillors, the LG House said Delhi Lieutenant Governor VK Saxena had nominated 10 persons in pursuance of the powers vested on him.
As the House was adjourned over the ruckus, the LG House issued a clarification and said that any attempts to deviate from the decision or create confusion regarding it by the AAP is nothing but its characteristic politics of deceit, blatant lies and deliberate attempts at misleading.
Reacting to the issue, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said the attempt to get nominated members to vote in the House
is “unconstitutional”.
Sharing the Article of the composition of the Municipality Act, Kejriwal tweeted, “Article 243R of the Constitution clearly debars nominated members from voting in the House. Attempt to get them to vote in the House is unconstitutional.”
Meanwhile, Union Minister and BJP leader Meenakshi Lekhi has slammed the Aam Aadmi Party and alleged that it was AAP’s conspiracy to stall the smooth functioning of the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) House and therefore they created ruckus there.
Addressing the media after the ruckus in MCD House, Lekhi said, “Section 33B(1) of the Municipal Corporation Act has been brought into action. Delhi L-G V.K. Saxena has exercised his power and nominated people, and Chairperson to the House. There was a conspiracy that AAP will not allow smooth functioning and thus they created ruckus.”
Meanwhile, AAP leader Sanjay Singh alleged that the BJP’s “game was going on in the House”. He alleged that the BJP attacked the AAP councillor and left him bleeding. “At the behest of the BJP, the L-G sent a proposal to make Nazia of the Congress the chairman of the Haj Committee. Hooliganism is going on openly,” he said.
AAP leader Atishi said the party was thinking of moving the court over the mayor election. She said the BJP has breached the custom as aldermen have never been allowed to take oath ahead of the elected councillors.
The AAP has fielded former Delhi University teacher Shelly Oberoi as the mayoral candidate and Aale Mohammad Iqbal as its deputy mayor candidate, while BJP has nominated Rekha Gupta for the mayor’s post and Kamal Bagri for the deputy post.