Monday, September 18, 2000,
Chandigarh, India


M A I N   N E W S

Mayor fails to muster support
Cancels general house meeting
Tribune News Service

AMRITSAR, Sept 17 — In a significant development, Mr Subash Sharma, Mayor, today cancelled the general house meeting of the Amritsar fixed for tomorrow after being unable to muster the support of adequate number of councillors in the wake of the probability of a no-confidence move against him.

Talking to TNS, Mr Sharma said he had cancelled the meeting due to the “ongoing drama” and the new date would be communicated at an appropriate time. Earlier, Mr Sharma held a meeting of his supporters and municipal councillors belonging to his group. The District Congress Committee and the CPI have already announced that they will move a no-confidence motion against him.

Mr Sharma tried to seek the support of some Akali and BJP municipal councillors, but in vain.

The district BJP chief, Mr Om Parkash Kalia, who had earlier said that Mr Sharma was “innocent: did a volte face today and stated that he had been misquoted by the press and he had no right to challenge the decision of the party high command.

Mr Subash Bhatia, organising secretary, district BJP, said the Amritsar unit would obey the directives of the party high command so far as the expulsion of Mr Sharma was concerned.

Mr Baldev Singh Verka, leader of the CPI councillors, announced that his party would support any no-confidence motion against Mr Sharma as he had already been “indicted” by the fact-finding committee of the BJP.

Mr Verka sought a CBI inquiry into the allegations against the Mayor. He alleged that Mr S.S. Rajput, Commissioner, Municipal Corporation was got transferred by the Mayor as he (Mr Rajput) had refused to obey the “unlawful dictates” of Mr Sharma.

Mr Sharma described his expulsion as “un-constitutional” and appealed to the party high command to get the order revoked.

In identical letters faxed to BJP President Bangaru Laxman and General Secretary Narinder Modi, he said the party’s state leadership should have issued him a show-cause notice before expelling him. He was not given a chance to express his views, the letter said.

The letter pointed out that two senior BJP leaders — Mr Satpal Gosain and Mr Jagdish Shawney — both of whom had levelled charges of corruption against the then party unit chief Daya Singh Sodhi last year, were issued show-cause notices but this procedure was not followed in his case.

Mr Sharma claimed that the charges of moral turpitude levelled against him by the two-member inquiry committee constituted by the state unit were baseless and had not been proved by the probe panel.

Claiming to be a loyal worker of the BJP, Mr Sharma demanded that the party high command revoked his expulsion.

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