The MCD House reconvened on Friday to make another bid to hold the election of members of the municipal corporation's standing committee, a day after it was adjourned following a protracted pandemonium triggered by clashes between the AAP and BJP councillors.
The proceedings to conduct the election for picking members of the committee -- the highest decision-making body of the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) -- had begun around 6.15 pm on Wednesday, hours after AAP's Shelly Oberoi was elected as Delhi's new mayor.
However, the sitting, punctuated with over a dozen adjournments, vociferous protests by BJP members, high-voltage drama and high-decibel sloganeering, spilled over to the next day, until the mayor adjourned it for the day.
Several members of the BJP and the AAP on Wednesday night had exchanged blows and hurled plastic bottles at each other in the chamber of the MCD House, and the situation turned uglier on Thursday morning, even as the stalemate over the election continued.
Videos of commotion in the chamber of the House have since gone viral on social media. A video shared by the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) showed BJP councillor Rekha Gupta and other councillors standing on the dias and throwing away things kept there.
BJP leaders, on the other hand, have shared a video claiming party councillor Pramod Gupta was slapped by AAP councillor Devender Kumar.
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The whole incident was triggered by bitter arguments between the members of the two parties over the mode of conducting the election to the six members of the Standing Committee.
Friday's meeting was scheduled to resume at 10 am, but the House started business around 11.10 am.
Meanwhile, ahead of the crucial House meeting, AAP councillor Pawan Sehrawat joined the BJP alleging that he felt "suffocated" due to "corruption" in the party led by Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal.
Sehrawat also alleged that he was distressed as the AAP councillors were instructed to create a ruckus in the MCD House meeting.
The AAP councillor from Bawana was welcomed to the BJP fold at the party's Delhi unit office by working president Virendra Sachdeva and general secretary Harsh Malhotra. Many other Delhi BJP leaders were present on the occasion.
As members waited for the sitting to begin in the House, many BJP councillors chanted Pawan Sehrawat ka swagat hai and cheered and flashed victory signs to welcome him to their camp.
Seherawat also wore BJP party colours and flashed victory signs inside the chamber.
Many BJP councillors also chanted Apni ghadi sahi karao, Mayor madam sadan mey Aao as they waited for the proceedings to resume.
Security inside the chamber and on the premises of the Civic Centre -- the headquarters of the MCD -- was stepped up on Friday.
Extra layer of security frisking has been added on the fourth floor where the chamber of the House is located.
Sources said a fresh set of ballots have been printed. But, the mayor can take the call on whether these can be used or not.
Another source claimed the old ballots inside the ballot box have got soiled. However, there was no official version on it yet.
The BJP has been demanding fresh voting citing violation of ballot secrecy by AAP councillors carrying mobile phones while casting their votes during the initial phase of the election to pick the panel members, before the House was disrupted.
In a report submitted to Mayor Shelly Oberoi and Municipal Commissioner Gyanesh Bharti, the secretary of the civic body has recommended fresh elections, saying the "sanctimony" of the election process has been "badly bruised".
He had sought time for printing of new set of ballot papers, saying traditionally the elections were held with a stock of 300 ballot papers.
The election to the posts of mayor and deputy mayor of the MCD on Wednesday was conducted after three previous failed attempts and over two months after the high-stakes municipal polls, and following a Supreme Court order.
On February 17, the top court had ordered issuing of a notice within 24 hours for convening the first meeting of the MCD to fix the date of elections for the mayor, the deputy mayor and the members of the standing committee of the civic body.
Seven candidates are in the fray for the six members of the standing committee.
Aamil Malik of Sri Ram Colony ward, Raminder Kaur from Fateh Nagar ward, Mohini Jeenwal of Sundar Nagari ward and Sarika Chaudhary of Daryaganj ward are AAP's candidates.
Kamaljeet Sehrawat from Dwarka-B ward and Pankaj Luthra from Jhilmil ward are BJP's candidates.
Independent councillor Gajender Singh Daral, who later joined the BJP, is also a candidate.
(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)