MC HOUSE MEET

Jalandhar Mayor at receiving end over ‘shady’ unipole deal

Councillors seek his resignation over no action | Allege advt wing officials hand-in-glove with contractor

Jalandhar Mayor at receiving end over ‘shady’ unipole deal

Stormy meeting BJP and Congress councillors protest during the Municipal Corporation House meeting as Mayor Jagdish Raja (centre) looks on, in Jalandhar on Tuesday. tribune Photo: Sarabjit Singh

Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, July 27

The MC General House meeting was held after five months on Tuesday and it remained a stormy affair amid few councillors, including the senior ones, demanding resignation of mayor Jagdish Raja on a common issue of prevalent ‘Afsarshahi’ that has been troubling them for long.

Notably, the issue of an alleged fraud in the entire process of installation of unipoles by a firm in the city was highlighted in the last meeting and it was alleged that the advertisement wing officials were hands in glove with the contractor in the fraud. After the allegations, the officials of almost every wing of the MC had protested and had not attended the meeting.

The mayor had then said: “Absence of officials concerned is definitely not right. They should have defended themselves by taking part in the meeting. As they are not here, show-cause notices will be issued to them.” Today, the councillors asked the mayor what action was taken against those officials.

Des Raj Jassal asked the mayor to resign if he could not do anything in this matter. “Mayor saab panj mahine ho gaye, je halle vi kuch nai kitta, te resign de deyo (It has been five months, if you still have not done anything, then resign from your post),” he said, adding that inaction was only affecting the image of Congress.

BJP Councillor Viresh Kumar also said dominance of the MC officials in every work was not letting councillors do their work. “If this is how the corporation is going to function, then it is better that you should resign,” he said. Another Congress councillor Mandeep Jassal also raised the same matter and said amidst such an environment, either the councillors should resign or the mayor should take the responsibility and give resignation.

Councillors ‘kept in the dark’ over Smart City project

Recently, the All Adhoc Committees Chairman of the MC had given a memorandum to the Chairman of Vidhan Sabha Committee in which it was mentioned that several works were being carried out under the Smart City Project about which the MC councillors don’t even know.

“Whenever the work is not done properly, area residents blame the councillors. So, it is important that councillors must also be taken into confidence before taking up any kind of development works,” Congress Councillor Balraj Thakur said.

The issue was raised again during the meeting where it was said the works that are being carried out under the Smart City are not up to the mark. “The roads being constructed are so poor that the area residents question us. Nobody questions the ‘so-called’ officials who actually get the work done and the onus is always put on the councillors. There was no involvement of the councillors and they are never told regarding the same,” said Mandeep Jassal.

Fight of slogans: Cong, BJP councillors exchange barbs

Amid the allegations, the BJP councillors sat on the floor and started raising slogans against the mayor. Raja mast, Jalandhar trast, corporation murdabad, these slogans echoed in the hall. The Congress councillors also started raising slogans Modi jumla sarkar murdabad. The Congress councillors also said the BJP councillors were only wasting the time of the House. “On one hand, you are saying that no development is taking place and on the other, instead of carrying out discussions, you are only aggravating the problem by taking out such protests,” one of the Congress councillors said. During the entire episode, the mayor Jagdish Raja didn’t utter even a single word and remained quiet and calm!

Tribune Shorts

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