Civic body officials face heat for dilly-dallying MP Bittu’s NDC plea : The Tribune India

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Civic body officials face heat for dilly-dallying MP Bittu’s NDC plea

Disciplinary action recommended against 3 senior functionaries

Civic body officials face heat for dilly-dallying MP Bittu’s NDC plea

Ravneet Singh Bittu. File photo



Tribune News Service

Nitin Jain

Ludhiana, May 16

Heads have started rolling in the Municipal Corporation (MC) after three-time sitting MP and BJP nominee Ravneet Singh Bittu alleged delay in issuance of no dues certificate (NDC) to him.

While disciplinary action has been recommended against three senior civic functionaries, the suspension of two other MC officials has, however, been revoked after they were found “innocent”.

Bittu had alleged that the MC had not issued him the NDC within 48 hours of application, which was mandatory as per guidelines of the Election Commission of India (ECI).

Taking cognisance of his complaint, Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) Sibin C had sought a report from the Local Government Secretary on the issue.

Acting swiftly, MC Commissioner Sandeep Rishi conducted a preliminary probe into the matter and found delay and lapse on the part of several civic officials, who dealt with the MP’s NDC application.

While disciplinary action has been recommended against two head draftsmen, Mohan Singh, who was holding the charge of receipt and dispatch in ATP, Zone D, Devinder Singh, and draftsman Gurmeet Singh for not dealing with the application in time and negligence on their part, superintendent Vivek Prabhakar and sewadar in drawing branch, Zone D, Paramjeet Kaur, who had been placed under suspension with immediate effect, have been reinstated.

In his report to the Local Government Director, the MC Commissioner has reported that Bittu had applied with the Zonal Commissioner, Zone D, for NDC against Kothi No 6 in Officers’ Colony near Rose Garden here on May 2.

“The Zonal Commissioner sent the file to the ATP, Zone D, and the drawing branch dealt with the application in a casual manner and initiated no action till May 5,” the report said while recommending disciplinary action against the three senior MC functionaries.

It was on May 8 when Bittu took up the matter with the MC Commissioner that Rishi looked into the same and got the house rent assessed, recovered the amount and issued the NDC within 48 hours of the issue coming to his notice, following which the BJP candidate was enabled to file his nomination papers along with the NDC before the Returning Officer on May 10.

Bittu was on Friday midnight dislodged from the government house here, where he was staying since 2016, which he alleged as a major security threat to him and his family.

Rendered houseless, the three-time parliamentarian and the BJP nominee shifted to the party office here under the Z-plus security cover, which is the highest level of security protection after the SPG cover, comprising 55 personnel, along with 10 NSG and CRPF commandos, who guard the protectee 24x7.

It had come almost 24 hours after a demand notice to pay Rs 1.83 crore as house rent and order to immediately vacate the house was served on him on Thursday midnight.

Bittu had paid Rs 1.83 crore to the MC, which had served him the notice, to procure the mandatory NDC before filing his nomination papers on Friday.

Calling it as a joint bid and nefarious design of the ruling AAP and the main Opposition Congress to prevent him from entering the poll fray and pose security threat to him and his family, the firebrand parliamentarian, who had recently quit the Congress to get the BJP ticket from Ludhiana Lok Sabha seat, has equated the action with that meted out to popular Punjabi rapper and singer Sidhu Moosewala, who was killed following his security cut in May 2022.

“AAP and the Congress would be responsible for any harm caused to me or my family,” he said while asserting that he would not be cowed down by any such “anti-national” tactics and he was not even afraid of laying down his life as had been done by his slain Chief Minister grandfather Beant Singh for the sake of nation’s peace and tranquility.

Accusing his opponents of playing with his life and liberty, Bittu said it was an unprecedented action wherein the ruling and the main Opposition parties had joined hands to not only finish his political career but also posing serious threat to his and family’s lives.

“All this shows their frustration as they have accepted their defeat,” the BJP candidate said while exuding confidence that the people would teach them a lesson and he would emerge stronger out of what he termed as “political vendetta”.

Following the dislocation, Bittu on Saturday shifted his belongings from the house, which was allotted to him by the then SAD government in view of threat perception in 2016.

“I had contested two elections while staying in the same house but no one asked for any rent or ordered to vacate the place,” he lamented while adding that the house would be completely vacated by Sunday.

He said he was served rent recovery notice and house vacation order on Thursday at 11.18 pm through WhatsApp and official email. “I had been duly getting NDC from MC during the past elections as well and was paying water and electricity bills regularly but no notice declaring his possession as “illegal” was ever served to him in the past.

“I had applied for the NDC on May 2 but it was not issued till May 8 despite ECI instructions to issue such documents within 48 hours of application,” he claimed.

He had to pledge his ancestral agricultural land to clear the dues and obtain the NDC, hours before filing the nomination on Friday.

The MC notice had asked the MP to pay Rs 1,82,98,294 as house rent arrears and vacate the place forthwith for procuring the NDC.

Questioning the timings, Bittu asked what was the motive of issuing notice and dislodging him at midnight when he was legal occupant of the house since 2016?

“It’s handiwork of anti-national forces to throw the Z-plus protectee out of the house at midnight,” the parliamentarian alleged.

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