Chinks in Chandigarh BJP come to the fore

Mayor adjourns virtual House meet as party councillors give it a miss; Cong holds protest

Chandigarh, October 20

Barring one, all BJP councillors gave the MC House meeting a miss today, compelling Mayor Raj Bala Malik to adjourn it as the quorum could not be completed.

The internal rift among BJP councillors and their displeasure at the Mayor’s reluctance to hold a physical meeting is said to be the main cause of the flop show today. More surprising was the absence of nine nominated councillors from the virtual meet.

9 members needed for quorum

Nine members are required to complete the quorum in the 27-member House, but only seven members logged in to mark their presence for the House meeting. The Mayor chaired the House meeting while Additional Commissioner Anil Garg was appointed the secretary. The Mayor can call the meeting anytime this month or hold this meeting next month.

‘Mayor was apprised of decision’

On August 13, city BJP president Arun Sood had sent Davesh Moudgil, Rajesh Kalia, Asha Jaswal, Ravi Kant Sharma and Jagtar Singh to meet the Mayor and apprise her of councillors’ wish to hold a physical House meeting. On October 18, a meeting was called again in which Sood and others decided that the October 20 meeting be cancelled. The Mayor was apprised of the decision. - Ramveer Bhatti, State BJP General Secy

‘A BJP conspiracy’

It was a BJP conspiracy to adjourn the meeting. Why were the nominated councillors not present. Had they been present, the quorum would have been completed and the meeting could have been held. - Devinder Singh Babla, Congress Councillor

The Mayor during the virtual MC House meeting on Tuesday.

For the past two months, both BJP and Congress councillors had been urging the Mayor to hold a physical meeting. While BJP councillors have been ruing the “stalling of developmental projects” in their wards, Congress councillors have alleged that the Mayor is shirking away from facing tough questions regarding the functioning of the civic body.

BJP councillor Maheshinder Singh Sidhu was the only one to mark his presence for the online meeting. The Mayor had to adjourn the meeting as only seven members were present and the minimum quorum of nine members was not completed in the 27-member House.

Before the start of the meeting, all five Congress councillors protested outside the Mayor’s office, demanding that a physical House meeting be held, but showed there presence at the meeting.

Bansal shows up

On a day when the BJP’s “internal rift and revolt” against their own Mayor came to the fore, the local Congress unit scored a point by organising protests, both inside and outside the civic body. Former Union Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal upped the ante by criticising the enhanced water tariff and questioning the ruling party why the Delhi Finance Commission grant-in-aid for the UT was being delayed.

Inside the MC office, five Congress councillors — Devinder Singh Babla, Satish Kumar, Gurbax Rawat, Sheela Phool Singh and Rupinder Gujral — sat in protest outside the Mayor’s office, demanding that a physical House meeting be held. — TNS

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