Several members of the BJP and the AAP on Wednesday night exchanged blows and hurled plastic bottles at each other in the chamber of the MCD House, on a day the city got its new mayor.
A few BJP members claimed that some of their fellow party councillors got hit with objects flung in the air, while Mayor Shelly Oberoi alleged that some BJP councillors tried to attack her during the proceedings to hold the election to pick the six members of the Standing Committee of the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD).
The incident took place around 11 pm. It happened during the time the newly-elected mayor had adjourned proceedings.
Raja Iqbal Singh, former North Delhi mayor said, "I got hit in the back with a bottle, and there were apples and other things being flung around in the air during the commotion. It was unimaginable." The whole incident was triggered by bitter argument between the the members of the two parties over the mode of conducting the election to the six members of the Standing Committee.
"We have been asking them to hold election afresh, since mobile phone was taken to the booth area earlier by members as the mayor had allowed it. Later, when she disallowed it after we protested, we had asked for starting the process afresh, but the mayor was adamant," BJP councillor Shikha Rai alleged.
Oberoi, an AAP leader, alleged that many BJP councillors tried to "attack" her when she was conducting the election.
"The extent of BJP hooliganism is that they are trying to attack a woman," she was quoted as saying in a statement issued by the AAP later tonight.
Chief Minister and AAP national convener Arvind Kejriwal reacting to it said its "absolutely shocking and unacceptable".
AAP MLA Saurabh Bharadwaj alleged that the BJP was not allowing the standing committee elections to take place.
"We want elections (to six members of Standing Committee). Despite the Supreme Court's order, BJP is still creating ruckus and not allowing elections to take place, but the House will continue to function until the election process is over," he tweeted in Hindi.
Senior BJP leader Vijender Gupta held a press conference past midnight and slammed the AAP and Kejriwal for the incident today.
AAP won the election to the posts of both the mayor and deputy mayor.
The Standing Committee members' election was held over an hour after the deputy mayor was elected.
During the brawl that took place around 11 pm, several members of both the parties, exchanged blows, hurled plastic bottles and lobbed fruits at each other in the chamber of the municipal House.
Around 10.20 pm, Shikha Rai and several of her party councillors climbed onto the dias while the mayor was still in the chair and pushed for their demands, following which Oberoi adjourned the House.
The House proceedings began around 11:30 am and business was conducted smoothly as AAP's Oberoi emerged victorious in the mayoral poll, defeating BJP's Rekha Gupta by a margin of 34 votes.
After the mayoral election, the House was briefly adjourned and then it resumed to elect the deputy mayor, again AAP's Aaley Mohammed Iqbal winning the election, defeating BJP's Kamal Bagri Mayor Oberoi then adjourned the House for an hour.
However, as the session didn't resume after one hour, BJP councillor Shikha Rai told the municipal secretary that it was getting late and that the mayor be asked to come back to the House.
Meanwhile, many BJP members chanted 'Hanuman Chalisa' for several minutes, awaiting resumption of the House.
The session finally resumed around 6:15 pm and the proceedings to elect the six members of the MCD panel began.
As the mayor permitted carrying mobile phone to the booth area, BJP members opposed it.
Many of them later trooped to the Well of the House, and chanted anti-Arvind Kejriwal slogans.
"People who don't maintain order in the House, will be thrown out," the newly-elected mayor said.
Carrying of mobile phone and pen was not permitted during the proceedings of the election for the posts of mayor and deputy mayor. The BJP members were opposing the decision to allow it.
The mayor adjourned the House around 6:35 pm. Many members had already voted by then.
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.
At about 7:40 pm, 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, "tanashahi nahi chalegi" (dictatorship will not be allowed).
A group of BJP members again trooped to the Well of the House, chanting, 'Ek sadan mey do kanoon, nahin chalenge'.
BJP members also chanted 'Raghupati Raghav Raja Ram' to lodge their protest.
The mayor asked the protesting members to go back to their seats.
The House was then adjourned again around 8 PM, for 15 minutes. However, the House resumed around 9:30 pm, but BJP members continued to protest, asking the process to be started afresh.
The proceedings during the exercise to hold the election of six members of the MCD panel, were adjourned for nine times, the ninth one being at about 11:35 pm.
The brawl took place after the adjournment that took place for the eight time.
Even past midnight, it was still uncertain as to the finality of the election to pick the of six members of the panel.
On February 17, the Supreme 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.