The ongoing face-off between the BJP and the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) over Delhi’s mayoral election played out on the capital’s streets today as both parties organised protest marches against each other.
While AAP supporters protested outside the BJP headquarters, BJP workers marched to the residence of Chief Minister and AAP supremo Arvind Kejriwal.
At the Chief Minister’s residence, Delhi Police had to use water cannons on the 2,000-odd BJP workers who had gathered there for the protest.
The protests come days after a massive brawl during a meeting to elect a new mayor for the national capital. BJP and AAP councillors were seen fighting and raising slogans as the meeting to elect a mayor was stalled and Delhi’s 10-year wait for a mayor continued.
Both parties claimed their councillors suffered injuries in Friday’s clash at Civic Centre, headquarters of the Municipal Corporation of Delhi.
The AAP, which swept the civic polls last month, winning 134 out of the 250 seats, has named Shelly Oberoi and Ashu Thakur as its candidates for the top post. The BJP, which won 104 wards, has fielded Rekha Gupta for the mayor post.
The BJP’s seven Lok Sabha MPs from Delhi, AAP’s three Rajya Sabha members and 14 MLAs nominated by the Delhi Speaker will also participate in the mayoral election.
Adding a twist, the Congress, which has 9 councillors, has decided not to take part in the voting.
The current face-off was triggered by Delhi Lieutenant Governor VK Saxena’s move to appoint 10 nominated members to the civic body. While the AAP targeted Mr Saxena for making the appointments without consulting the state government, the BJP said the Lieutenant Governor was well within his rights to do so.
The AAP alleged that the nomination of the aldermen before the mayor election stinks of a conspiracy to get them to vote in the BJP’s favour. As per rules, nominated members cannot vote in the election.
The AAP has also slammed the Lieutenant Governor for appointing a BJP councillor, Satya Sharma, as temporary Speaker to preside over the mayor’s election. The AAP had recommended Mukesh Goyal, the seniormost councillor in the house, for the post.