Delhi BJP has expressed its dismay and anguish at the manner in which the leaders of the party-led Municipal Corporation of Delhi were bypassed allegedly at the instance of the Ministry of External Affairs by the nine-member Chinese civic delegation that visited the Capital recently and was led by Beijing Vice-Mayor Ding Xiangyang.

In a statement, Delhi BJP spokesperson Vijay Jolly said, the delegation had met Lieutenant-Governor Tejendra Khanna and Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit. However, it did not meet the Mayor, Deputy Mayor, Leader of MCD House or Leader of Opposition in MCD or the Municipal Commissioner.

“The fault lies with Ministry of External Affairs. The Chinese delegation was not at fault,” he said, adding that even during the opening and closing ceremony of the Commonwealth Games, Delhi Mayor Prithviraj Sawhney was conveniently ignored and bypassed. “A protest was lodged with the Union Home Minister then by the BJP. But now within 20 days, this second incident of a snub to MCD has taken place. It is totally unwarranted. It should not be repeated as it lowers the image of a democratic India,” he said.

Elaborating on the issue, he said, the Ministry of External Affairs granted permission to the Chinese delegation to meet the Delhi Chief Minister while bypassing the MCD leaders. “This decision of MEA was based on political considerations and is regretful. This happened because BJP, which is the principal Opposition party in India, is in power in the MCD,” Mr. Jolly claimed.

Ideally, he said, following the protocol, the visiting civic leaders of China should have first called on MCD leaders and then they should have met the Chief Minister and the Lieutenant-Governor.

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