Congress and Samajwadi Party corporators put democracy to shame when they came to blows with each other during the Lucknow Municipal Corporation (LMC) House meeting called on Monday to elect four members to the LDA board.
The Samajwadi corporators were demanding an open ballot fearing cross voting by some of their corporators while their Congress counterparts were in favour of a secret ballot.
The House began with nominations being filed by BJP candidates - Saurabh Singh ‘Monu’ and Ramesh Kapoor ‘Baba’; Samajwadi Party candidates - Faisal Nawab and Raju Gandhi and Congress’ Mukesh Singh Chauhan.
The BJP has around 58 members in the 110-member House, the SP has 39 members with the support of 10 nominated members while the Congress has eight members in the House.
The SP members feared a repeat of the executive committee polls when despite more votes, the Samajwadi Party candidate lost to the Congress candidate.
On Monday, as soon as voting began, SP leader Sayyed Yawar Hussain ‘Reshu’ asked his corporators to first show the ballot to him and then vote. This was objected to by the Congress corporators, as they wanted a secret ballot.
They appealed to the mayor to stop Reshu from interfering in the secret ballot. The mayor then directed Reshu not to interfere but he continued to do so.
Reshu stopped SP corporator from Ambedkar Nagar ward Suresh Chandra Rawat to check his ballot. However, Congress corporator Mukesh Singh Chauhan tried to stop him. Consequently, two SP corporators, Arvind Singh ‘Guddu’ and Atul Yadav ‘Bantu’ pushed Chauhan who fell down. Congress corporators came to his rescue. After this there was a free for all as the corporators entered into a scuffle with each other.
A war of words also ensued with the corporators indulging in an exchange of abusive words.
A shell-shocked mayor Dinesh Sharma adjourned the House till 1pm. Following this, Congress corporators boycotted the House and sat on dharna in front of the mayor’s room. They demanded arrest and cancellation of LMC membership of Bantu Yadav for beating up Mukesh Singh Chauhan. The Congress corporators also called Cantt MLA Rita Bahuguna Joshi, who promptly arrived at the spot.
BJP MLA Gopalji Tandon, MLC Mahendra Singh, Mohanlalganj MP Kaushal Kishore, MLC Kanti Singh, SP MLA Gomti Yadav also arrived to solve the matter.
Following a marathon meeting between the parties, the mayor adjourned the House sine die and the elections for the LDA board were cancelled. Mayor Dinesh Sharma and Rita Bahuguna Joshi termed the incident as unfortunate.