The election for the six powerful members of the Standing Committee of the unified Municipal Corporation of Delhi was chaotic. It started on Wednesday evening and continued until Thursday morning.
Late Night Voting at Delhi Civic Body Descends into Chaos with Bottles and Ballot Boxes Thrown. Pictures showed councillors yelling, pushing, and hitting each other, with some throwing water bottles and ballot boxes into a well. The disorder caused proceedings to stop at least eight times.
What Delhi Mayor said ?
Delhi’s new Mayor, Shelly Oberoi, claimed that BJP councilors attacked her during the election, while the BJP stated they were only trying to speak with her. Images revealed BJP councilors approaching the Mayor on stage amid the commotion.
The newly-elected Mayor tweeted that BJP Councillors attempted to attack her while she was conducting the Standing Committee elections, according to Supreme Court orders. She condemned the BJP’s behavior towards a woman Mayor as “Gundagardi.”
The BJP’s Shikha Rai claimed they approached the Mayor to discuss finding a solution to a matter.
Arvind Kejriwal Tweet
Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal tweeted that the incident was unacceptable and shocking. AAP’s Atishi announced plans to file a complaint with the police.
How the situation aroused?
Sources said that the chaos started when the Aam Aadmi Party and BJP argued over accusations of some members carrying cell phones during the voting.
The BJP members wanted the voting to be stopped and held again. However, Ms. Oberoi insisted that the Standing Committee election should be finished on the same day, causing tempers to rise.
The use of pens and cell phones during the election was not allowed. The BJP alleged that the rules were not followed during the Standing Committee poll, allowing AAP members to vote according to their own wishes.
“How can voting be secret when cellphones are allowed? You are taking photos of the voting to show your high command because you know you will lose. This makes a mockery of democracy. We demand that the 50 votes already cast be cancelled,” said Delhi BJP spokesperson Harish Khurana during a press conference.
The election for the Standing Committee began in the evening after the elections for Mayor and Deputy Mayor, which were won by AAP. AAP has 150 out of 274 seats in the house, which is more than the majority needed, which is 138.
In the Standing Committee, AAP is expected to win three seats while BJP is expected to win two. The competition is for the sixth seat, which could give the BJP control over the civic body they have dominated for the past 15 years.
Sources suggest that the ongoing debate on whether the Lieutenant Governor’s appointed councillors, known as aldermen, can vote in the Mayor elections has been building up to this day.
The swearing-in of the 10 aldermen and the issue of their voting rights had caused the Mayor election to be delayed three times since the civic polls in December.
The election was delayed for the fourth time to allow for a Supreme Court hearing on the matter. The court had ruled that the constitutional provision was “very clear” and that aldermen could not vote.