East Delhi Mayor Shyam Sunder Aggarwal on Monday said he has suspended 20 AAP members of the EDMC for 15 days for allegedly creating ruckus and indulging in misconduct during the proceedings of the House
The issue that led to chaotic scenes in the EDMC House was related to an old temple in east Delhi, whose land is allegedly being eyed by A few people, he said. The 20 members also include, eight nominated members of the opposition party, Aggarwal said. There was no immediate reaction from the Aam Aadmi Party.
“We wanted to offer our condolences to family members of our councillors who have died in recent time. But, AAP members insisted to have a discussion on the temple issue, and when I asked them to wait, they trooped to the Well of the House bearing placards, and even indulged in misconduct and damaged properties, like microphones and Covid glass visors mounted on tables,” Aggarwal alleged.
The House proceedings was suspended for about 30 minutes and when the AAP members did not listen, the action was taken against them. “All present members of the AAP (20) have been suspended for 15 days from the House. I have also written to the Lt Governor of Delhi today seeking dismissal of the eight nominated AAP members,” Aggarwal said, and circulated copy of the letter to the press.
The 64-member EDMC House is currently ruled by the BJP. In the 2017 elections, out of the 64 wards in east Delhi, 47 were won by the BJP. The AAP at present has 18 elected members in it, he added. The EDMC House later also passed a resolution condemning the alleged ruckus and the use of “indecent language” and damage caused to public property by a few members.
In another move, it passed a resolution that incase of destruction of any public property, the damages shall be recovered from a person or group of persons responsible for it.
Delhi civic elections are due next year and both parties have been attacking each other with a spirit of one-upmanship to gain an upper hand ahead of the municipal elections. On September 20, Zubair Ahmad, a Congress councillor in the EDMC had alleged that the old temple, located in his ward, was lying neglected for a long time and being eyed by “anti-social elements”, following which the mayor had visited the site. Aggarwal then had said the temple, built about 50 years ago, is located in 600 sq yd premises in Gali no. 2 of Chauhan Bangar ward.
The temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva and there is a Shivaling installed inside it, but for the last close to 15 years it has suffered neglect and decay, and lying abandoned, he said.
On Monday, Ahmad spoke about the temple in the House before the ruckus happened. He had on September 20 appealed to the mayor to get the temple building restored which will augment the feeling of communal harmony in the area. Aggarwal had claimed that the temple got neglected as it is located in an area where “only the Muslim community lives”, so no one has visited it for a very long time, leading to its neglect. On Monday, the mayor said the matter has later come up in the zonal committee meeting and a probe had been ordered to find if anyone was attempting to “usurp the land”.
Amid the ruckus, a few proposals were cleared by the House, including waiving off fee for holding religious and cultural events at EDMC parks in view of the Covid pandemic, and a collaborative project on solar power use.