AAP responsible for, planned ruckus: BJP
The AAP hit back, accusing the BJP of violating the constitutional conventions and conspiring to give voting rights to aldermen
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Friday accused the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) of being a “party of goons”, claiming that the ruckus at the first meeting of the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) House earlier in the day was pre-planned.
The BJP also announced that it will hold a protest on Saturday against AAP’s “hooliganism”.
The AAP hit back, accusing the BJP of violating the constitutional conventions and conspiring to give voting rights to aldermen. To be sure, according to the Delhi Municipal Corporation Act, 1957, the aldermen do not have voting rights in the House.
Addressing a press conference, minister of state for external affairs and New Delhi MP Meenakshi Lekhi said what happened at the MCD House was “shameful”, blaming the AAP for the “mayhem” at the meeting.
“We have never seen this kind of anarchist activity in MCD house before; it is shameful. These (who created ruckus) are the same people who have said that they are anarchists… It was a conspiracy by the AAP and they had decided that they will not allow the House to function. They caused a ruckus and misbehaved with people,” Lekhi said.
According to Lekhi, the discretion by Satya Sharma, the presiding officer for the mayoral election, to administer the oath in the House first to nominated members can’t be challenged.
“The LG has appointed Satya Sharma, who is a three-time councillor, as the presiding officer as per the DMC Act to conduct the proceedings of the House in a fair manner. It was the presiding officer’s discretion, which they (the AAP) couldn’t challenge. In hindsight, the decision taken by Sharma was right, as if the reverse order was followed, AAP members wouldn’t have allowed nominated councillors to take oath,” she said.
North East Delhi MP Manoj Tiwari, who was also present at the press conference, alleged his party’s councillors were attacked by AAP members. “Our councillors have suffered injuries, as they (AAP members) were carrying sharp objects. Some of the councillors smelled of alcohol. We are going to register an FIR in the matter. Today is a black day. The AAP is a party of goons,” he said.
West Delhi MP Parvesh Sahib Singh Verma meanwhile said that there is no rule about the sequence in which the oath has to be administered. “It is the discretion of the presiding officer. There is no rule which says that nominated councillors (aldermen) can’t be administered oath before the elected ones. What is AAP worried about? They have 13 nominated MLAs whereas we just have one MLA,” he said.
Delhi BJP working president Virendra Sachdeva claimed Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal had instigated the violence. “The violence was instigated by the chief minister, as for the last two days, he has been making statements and correspondence on the issue of aldermen. He disregarded legal provisions and incited his councillors to commit violence,” Sachdeva said.
Hitting back, AAP legislator Saurabh Bhardwaj alleged, “Officials of the House informed that LG House instructed them to get voting done by nominated councillors. LG VK Saxena should tell whether such instructions were given or not? If not, then give in writing that the nominated councillors will not vote.”
AAP MLA Atishi said that instead of AAP councillor Mukesh Goel, the senior most member of the House, a BJP councillor was appointed the presiding officer in violation of democratic conventions. She also reiterated Bharadwaj’s charge of the BJP trying to get aldermen to vote in the mayoral polls.
Both the BJP and the LG’s office have rejected the allegations.