The newly-elected mayor and corporators in Uttar Pradesh's Meerut clashed today over the singing of national song 'Vande Mataram' during a civic board meeting.
As the song was played on tape by BJP supporters, Muslim corporators from the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) and the Samajwadi Party (SP) walked out. Soon after, members of the state's ruling BJP started shouting slogans alleging disrespect to the national song. BSP and SP corporators also raised slogans against the Prime Minister and the Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister. The civic body was meeting for the first time after the elections.
The corporators, elected in urban body polls held in November were sworn in last month. The BJP won as many as 14 of the 16 municipal corporations across Uttar Pradesh. In Meerut, Mayawati's BSP won the mayor's position and 28 of 90 seats. The BJP won 38 seats but lost the post of mayor.
This is the second time that the BJP and BSP corporators clashed over the national song. Earlier in December after the swearing-in ceremony in Meerut, BJP corporators stood up and started singing 'Vande Matram'. The Mayor, Sunita Verma of the BSP, continued sitting along with her corporators. This led to protests by the BJP corporators and party supporters who raised slogans of "Jai Shri Ram" and "Vande Mataram". BSP supporters countered with slogans of "Jai Bheem". BJP supporters also tore down a few posters put up by BSP in and around the swearing in venue, saying party posters are not allowed. Last month, BJP and BSP corporators clashed in Aligarh after the newly-elected Mayor from BSP took oath in Urdu.
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