Two SP and two independent corporators were arrested Saturday for allegedly gheraoing and heckling the mayor after she adjourned a session of the Varanasi Municipal Corporation (VMC) Saturday, in which executive body elections were to be held. The 12-member executive body monitors crucial functions of the corporation including infrastructure, hospital services, education and sewage. While 90 members — 41 from BJP, 21 from Congress and 17 from SP — were elected to the VMC in December last year, the executive wing is yet to be elected.
On Saturday, citing a condolence meet over the death of a BJP corporator’s wife, Mayor Mridula Jaiswal from the BJP reportedly adjourned the session. This despite opposition from SP, Congress and other corporators. Following this, Opposition corporators upturned Jaiswal’s desk and allegedly heckled her. Soon after, Jaiswal left and got into her car. “But as Opposition corporators blocked her way, she got off the car and began walking. BJP corporators surrounded her to keep away the protesting corporators,” said a member. Later, the BJP corporators filed a complaint with the police and an FIR was registered. “We have arrested four persons,” a police officer said.
When contacted, Congress corporator Sitaram Kesri said: “This is the second time elections of the executive body have been adjourned. There is no provision for adjourning a session for the death of a family member of a corporator.” Despite repeated attempts, Jaiswal did not respond to calls or messages.