A day after the Municipal Corporation of Delhi House was adjourned following commotion, members of AAP and the BJP held protests outside each other’s headquarters on Deen Dayal Upadhyay Marg here on Tuesday.
AAP accused the BJP of derailing the House proceedings repeatedly and demanded that the mayoral elections be held immediately to end “the Central government’s unconstitutional occupation of the MCD”. The BJP said it wanted AAP to stop “subverting constitutional norms inside the House”.
Over the last one month, the MCD House has been stalled thrice — January 6, January 24 and February 6 — due to heated exchanges between AAP and BJP councillors. AAP has accused the BJP of trying to rig the mayoral elections through its attempt to provide voting rights to the aldermen.
On Monday, protests broke out in the House when Satya Sharma, BJP councillor and the presiding officer, announced that the 10 aldermen nominated by the Lieutenant-Governor, would also be allowed to vote in the elections to the posts of the Mayor, Deputy Mayor and six members of the Standing Committee.
Ms. Sharma had told The Hindu on Monday that she gave voting rights to the aldermen “based on the May 2016 order of the Delhi High Court [ North Delhi Municipal Corporation vs. Onika Mehrotra and others]”.
On Tuesday, AAP chief spokesperson Saurabh Bharadwaj demanded that Ms. Sharma be tried for contempt of court as she “willfully lied in the House by claiming to have a High Court order regarding voting in the internal elections. While the truth is, such an order does not exist.”
“The Centre, which has deceitfully occupied the MCD for the past year, wants its occupation to continue. But it will not be allowed,” he also said.
AAP’s MCD in-charge Durgesh Pathak said the BJP, which has been in power in the three erstwhile civic bodies (now unified) for 15 years, was stalling the House to hide its alleged corruption.
“The MCD’s annual budget is ₹16,000 crore. Multiply that by 15, and you’ll get an idea of the scale of BJP’s corruption. We are prepared for a long-term struggle, but we won’t allow the BJP to murder democracy,” Mr. Pathak said.
In response, Delhi BJP working president Virendra Sachdeva said AAP resorted to “hooliganism” and charged its members with “subverting constitutional norms inside the House”.
BJP MLA and Leader of the Opposition in the Assembly Ramvir Singh Bidhuri alleged that AAP councillors caused the stir in the House on Monday at the behest of their party’s national convener Arvind Kejriwal.
“Kejriwal has an old habit of misleading the people of Delhi. But the public understands how he is destroying the city,” Mr. Bidhuri said.
Delhi is yet to get a Mayor two months after the civic poll results were declared.