MCD meet witnesses scuffle, censure motion against AAP government
NEW DELHI: A scuffle involving an AAP-backed dalit councillor and BJP members today broke out at the "joint session" of three BJP-ruled municipal corporations which passed a resolution slamming Kejriwal government for "not giving" funds to the civic bodies.
The meeting at Ramleela ground here, ostensibly in response to the two-day special session of Delhi Assembly called by AAP government to discuss alleged "corruption and mismanagement" in civic bodies, passed a censure motion against Kejriwal government amid a "walk out" by Congress over the incident involving NDMC councillor Rakesh Kumar.
Kumar, a councillor from Kucha Pandit ward in North Delhi Municipal Corporation (NDMC) area, was allegedly roughed up by BJP councillors for wearing the Aam Admi Party (AAP) cap, drawing sharp reaction from Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal who termed BJP as a party of "ruffians" which was targeting dalits.
Kumar was elected as an independent from the ward but is known as a supporter of AAP.
"The councillors of BJP and Congress were being allowed to raise issues while my attempts to say something went unnoticed. When I tried to draw attention attention of the House by waving the AAP cap, 4-5 persons whom I can identify by face charged at me and started beating me," he alleged.
Kumar said that he immediately called police control room number and lodged his complaint. "I am a Scheduled Caste member and was elected from the Kucha Pandit ward reserved for the community. It was pure hooliganism and it was captured by TV cameras. I can identify all those who attacked me including the BJP councillor Neeraj Gupta who scuffled with me.
"I will also lodge a complaint in connection with attack on me at Kamla Market police station under relevant laws including SC/ST Act," he said.
Lashing out at BJP, Kejriwal said on Twitter, "Utterly shameful. BJP is a party of gundas. Rakesh is a dalit. BJP assaulting dalits all over India in a systematic way." North Delhi mayor Sanjeev Nayyar said that action will be taken against the "guilty" on the complaint of Rakesh Kumar.
However, the BJP councillors alleged that Kumar was wearing AAP cap in the joint session of the three municipal corporations and when he was asked to take it off, he became violent.
"He was wearing the AAP cap during the session which is not allowed. He was requested to take it off but he started arguing. After a heated exchange of words occurred, he slapped me.
"I retaliated leading to a scuffle," alleged Neeraj Gupta, BJP councillor from Vasant Vihar(East) ward in South Delhi Municipal Corporation.
The Congress councillors attacked both AAP and BJP for failing to fulfill their promises to the people of Delhi.
"We advice AAP to mind its own working first and stop intervening in the working of MCD. Where are those jobs, wi-fi, free water which he promised before polls," said Farhad Suri, Congress councillor in SDMC. He also attacked the BJP, which is ruling the three MCDs, terming the joint session as a "drama".
"Neither Kejriwal nor MCD believe in democracy. This joint session is just a drama of the ruling party (BJP). The drama of AAP and BJP is affecting the people," he said.
Senior AAP leader Ashutosh demanded that police file a case under SC/ST Act against BJP councillors.
"BJP had again shown its anti-Dalit attitude by beating up AAP's Dalit Councillor Rakesh Kumar in Ramlila ground.
"Police should register case under SC/ST act against BJP councillors who beat up Dalit leader of AAP, Rakesh Kumar," he said in his tweets. The resolution passed in the joint session said, "The CM (Kejriwal) has been intentionally attacking the MCDs and trying to mislead the citizen keeping in view the MCD elections next year."
It asked Delhi government to release the due funds to the civic bodies as per the recommendations of 3rd Finance Commission and implement the 4th Finance Commission recommendations.
Last week, Kejriwal had announced convening of the special session of Delhi Assembly to discuss the working of the civic bodies.