Familiar scenes played out in the MCD House on Monday as the session was adjourned without electing a Mayor for the third time, with both AAP and the BJP blaming each other for it. “They [BJP] know that once an AAP councillor becomes the Mayor, all their illegal activities from the past will come to light,” senior AAP leader and Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia said.
This was the third session of the House after the high-stakes municipal polls held on December 4. The first two sessions — held on January 6 and January 24 — were also adjourned by the presiding officer without electing a Mayor amid ruckus and acrimonious exchanges between BJP and AAP members.
In BJP’s defence, Leader of the Opposition in the Delhi Assembly Ramvir Bidhuri said AAP was responsible for the delay in conducting the mayoral polls, adding that the latter was afraid of a possible defeat in the internal elections.
“Arvind Kejriwal is afraid that if anyone becomes the Mayor that person will stand equal to him and directly use the schemes and money of the Centre,” he said.
Mr. Sisodia said the “BJP wants to run the MCD House with hooliganism”. Even after the people of Delhi gave AAP a full majority in the MCD, the BJP is still running the civic body by manipulating officials, he added.
The AAP leader claimed that despite the presiding officer illegally taking decisions, his party councillors remained silent. Even then the presiding officer took an unconstitutional decision and sought the disqualification of the two AAP MLAs [Sanjeev Jha and Akhilesh Pati Tripathi] based on allegations and asked them to leave the House, he added.
Apart from the elected councillors, those who get to vote in the election for the office of the Mayor and the Deputy Mayor are Delhi’s seven Lok Sabha members, three Rajya Sabha members and 14 MLAs nominated by the Delhi Assembly Speaker. The Speaker has nominated one BJP MLA and 13 AAP MLAs, including Mr. Jha and Mr. Tripathi, to the MCD.
AAP MP Sanjay Singh said it was a conspiracy of the BJP and the Lieutenant-Governor. “Going against the norm, the L-G nominated the presiding officer from the BJP,” Mr. Singh said, adding that there are several states in the country with much smaller legislative bodies. “So, if the BJP loses any of those elections, they won’t allow the formation of a government or the election of a Chief Minister in those states,” he added.
“In the event they ever lose the Lok Sabha elections, they will not permit the PM to be elected. This demonstrates that wherever the BJP loses, they will not allow the leader to be chosen. So, will you [BJP] rule the country through hooliganism? Is this some sort of joke?” he said.
Delhi BJP working president Virendra Sachdeva said it was unfortunate that the AAP leaders again “defied” the instructions of the presiding officer on Monday.
Former BJP state president Vijender Gupta said the main reason for the uproar inside the House on Monday was that two nominated AAP MLAs Sanjeev Jha and Akhilesh Pati Tripathi were “criminals” and the law itself does not allow them the right to vote and they created a ruckus as soon as they were ordered to leave the House.
Delhi BJP Spokesperson Praveen Shankar Kapoor has said that it was regrettable that AAP created ruckus and violated the directives of the presiding officer in MCD House and was now claiming that it would move the Supreme Court over mayoral polls.