With councillor Raj Bala Malik switching over from the Congress to the BJP, the saffron party is now considering moving a no-confidence motion against Mayor HC Kalyan when the general house of the municipal corporation meets later this month.
The House has 36 members, comprising 26 elected, nine nominated and one ex officio, all of whom have voting rights. The mayor can be removed provided that two-thirds of the members attend the meeting and a majority of them support the no-confidence motion, said Joint Commissioner Rajiv Gupta.
Raja Bala’s action has increased the BJP tally to 11, which is the same as that of the Congress. The party is also assured of the vote of local MP Kirron Kher, who is the ex-officio member, and two members of the Shiromani Akali Dal.
The two BSP members have often supported the BJP in the past. Some of the nominated members, who were inducted by the Congress, have also been supporting the BJP, but it is not yet certain how many will back a no-confidence motion.
“There are now 14 members of the SAD-BJP alliance. There is a revolt within the Congress. Therefore, it is likely that if we move a no-confidence motion, it will be passed by the House. The matter is certainly under consideration, but only the party high command will take a decision,” said BJP councillor Arun Sood.
According to sources, the BJP wants to be sure of victory before moving the no-confidence motion. For, if the motion fails, the rules prohibit bringing a new no-confidence motion for six months. That means Kalyan will complete his term which ends in January.
Commenting on the matter, the mayor said, “If they want to move such a motion, it is their right. But in such a case, they must point out on what basis they are doing it. Have I done something wrong?’’
A nominated councillor admitted that the situation was tricky. “The nominated councillors generally leaned towards the Congress in the past, but the situation may change now, as the BJP is in power at the Centre and the city MP is from the same party,” he said.
However, a Congress councillor said the BJP would not bring the motion. “There is no revolt within the Congress and many BJP councillors will not support the decision. Besides, if they move the motion against the mayor, we can bring a similar motion against the Senior Deputy Mayor and the Deputy Mayor, who are from the BJP,” he said.