The election to select six members of the standing committee of the Municipal Corporation of Delhi was marred by multiple delays on Wednesday (22 February), as the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) councillors accused the conduct of the polls to be in violation.
The proceedings of the House commenced at around 11.30am and went smoothly, with Shelly Oberoi from the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) emerging victorious in the mayoral poll, beating Rekha Gupta from the BJP by a margin of 34 votes.
The House was adjourned briefly after the mayoral election and resumed to elect the deputy mayor, with Aaley Mohammed Iqbal from the AAP winning against Kamal Bagri from the BJP.
Subsequently, Mayor Oberoi adjourned the House for an hour, but when the session didn't resume after one hour, BJP councillor Shikha Rai requested the municipal secretary to call the mayor back to the House.
Meanwhile, several BJP members chanted 'Hanuman Chalisa' for several minutes to call for the resumption of the House.
Finally, around 6.15pm, the session resumed, and the proceedings to elect the six members of the MCD panel began. The mayor allowed the carrying of mobile phones to the booth area, which was opposed by the BJP members, as it went against House rules.
Harshdeep Malhotra, the BJP Delhi general secretary, alleged that some of the AAP councillors cross-voted against the mayor and deputy mayor elections. He also claimed that AAP councillors took photos of their vote, which was against the principle of the secret ballot.
The House was adjourned again by the mayor around 6.35pm, with several members already having voted.
At about 7.40pm, the mayor asked members who had ballot papers with them, to return it, and that only then she would take a further decision.
BJP members then started chanting slogans.
More drama ensued as the night progressed. Around 10.30pm, Shelly Oberoi tweeted that she was attacked by the BJP councillors in the House.
Around 11.30pm, report emerged that AAP councillors placed their hands on BJP councillor Tarun Marwah's turban, leading to a scuffle between the members of the two parties.
Seven candidates are in the fray for the six members of the standing committee, and the BJP is demanding that the election be conducted afresh with proper rules and regulations. The AAP, however, is pushing for the poll to proceed as planned.
(with inputs from PTI)
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