The polls to elect Delhi’s Mayor were pushed ahead for the second time after councillors from the Aam Aadmi Party and Bharatiya Janata Party engaged in clashes on Tuesday, PTI reported.
The elections were last postponed on January 6 after councillors of the ruling Aam Aadmi Party had opposed the swearing-in of 10 nominated councillors, also known as the aldermen.
Aldermen are persons who have special knowledge of municipal administration and are tasked with assisting the House in decisions of public importance. They are appointed by the lieutenant governor.
The Aam Aadmi Party had accused the Bharatiya Janata Party of trying to wrest control of the civic body despite losing the elections.
On Tuesday, presiding officer Satya Sharma of the BJP, appointed by the lieutenant governor, administered the oath to 10 nominated councillors amid sloganeering from the Aam Aadmi Party.
Following this, the House was adjourned for 15 minutes during which a number of BJP councillors raised slogans against Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal.
Slogans of “Modi, Modi”, “Jai Shri Ram” and “Bharat Mata ki Jai” were also raised by councillors of the saffron party and those nominated, according to PTI.
Following this, Sharma adjourned the House till the next date. “A House cannot run like this,” he said.
Aam Aadmi Party leader Sanjay Singh alleged that the BJP was resorting to hooliganism as they were afraid of losing the elections.
“The BJP has fled...they have 40 votes less than us and they were losing badly,” Singh said, according to The Indian Express. “I would like to thank our councillors. They stayed quiet even though they were being abused.”
Union Minister and BJP leader Meenakshi Lekhi said that democratic principles must be followed, reported ANI.
“We were sitting in the House to vote since 11 am and when finally the time came, a ruckus began in the House,” she said. “This is wrong”
The AAP had won 134 out of 250 wards in the elections to the Municipal Corporation of Delhi on December 7. The party defeated the BJP, which had ruled the civic body for the last 15 years.
On December 23, the AAP had announced that first-time councillor Shelly Oberoi would be its mayoral candidate. The son of AAP MLA Shoaib Iqbal, Aaley Mohammad Iqbal, was nominated as the party’s candidate for the deputy mayor’s post.
On December 27, the BJP nominated councillor Rekha Gupta as its candidate for the post of mayor and Kamal Bagdi for the deputy mayor’s post.