Ruckus at MCD: Feeling of déjà vu as councillors once again come to blows

Marshals escort the newly elected Delhi mayor to safety as MCD councillors repeat their act during the announcement of the election result for the Standing Committee

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By: Alok Singh | NEW DELHI
Updated: 25 February, 2023 3:21 am IST
It was yesterday once more at MCD House as councillors from AAP and BJP involved in physical brawl 

On Friday, February 24, there was a feeling of déjà vu as the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) House once again became a battleground between councillors for the ruling Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) and the opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

Councillors from both parties relived the shameful day of January 6, when the House met for the first time and they came to blows over the election of the Delhi mayor, during the results of the voting for six standing committee members.

Multiple videos of an assault and fight between the councillors surfaced on social media. Both parties, however, blamed each other for the latest ruckus.

The AAP leaders claim that BJP councillors, including male BJP councillors, physically assaulted Delhi Mayor Dr Shelly Oberoi.

BJP leaders, meanwhile, blamed AAP leader Atishi Marlena. They released a video that purportedly showed Atishi allegedly giving instructions to a female councillor from the party. The female councillors then joined the melee and were seen physically attacking rival councillors.

Some councillors were seen damaging various articles like microphones and furniture, during the ruckus.

Earlier, this week, directions from the Supreme Court ensured the election of the mayor and deputy was held after a delay of more than a month.

However, the election for members of the standing committee could not be conducted then as councillors from both parties fought over the issue of voting with mobile phones.

On Friday, the House was again convened, and Dr. Oberoi conducted elections. Later on, she announced results, giving AAP four seats while giving two seats to BJP in a six-member standing committee.

The BJP, on the other hand, claimed that Dr Oberoi cheated by declaring a councillor’s vote invalid. They protested vehemently, which led to accusations and counter accusations from both sides. By evening, the councillors had lost their patience and indulged in fisticuffs with each other.

Holding BJP councillors responsible for “hooliganism,” AAP MLA Atishi Marlena said, “On Friday, the voting process to elect the members of the Standing Committee took place once again, and it was all peaceful even until the counting process.”

“But as soon as the BJP realised that it was on the losing end, their members climbed onto the stage and physically tried to attack Mayor Dr Shelly Oberoi. She was eventually forced to escape the attack and save her life. But even outside the House, some male councillors of the BJP tried to physically assault her,” Atishi claimed.

Atishi said, “In the morning, the mayor accepted all the conditions put forward by the BJP. The voting was restarted and no one was allowed to take their mobile phones inside while going in to vote. Despite all of that, the moment the BJP realised they were losing the election, they decided to physically attack the mayor.”

Meanwhile, BJP leader Kapil Mishra cited the purported video and demanded criminal action against Atishi. “The video clearly shows Atishi’s role in the ruckus. Action must be taken against her. “Whatever happened in MCD is unpardonable,” the BJP leader said.

AAP leaders and councillors had filed a police report regarding the alleged assault on Dr Oberoi.They also demanded the arrest of BJP councillors who allegedly attacked the Delhi mayor.

In a tweet, Dr Oberoi said that she has sought an appointment with the Delhi Police Commissioner to file a complaint against the assault on her and two other female AAP councillors.

Meanwhile, Dr Oberoi announced that the re-election of the standing committee members will take place on February 27.

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