BJP LEADERS in the city never seem to stop bickering. Barely days after the BJP versus BJP contest for the mayor’s post, the city is witnessing a low-intensity battle between former mayor Davesh Moudgil and the newly anointed mayor Rajesh Kalia over the official accommodation. Moudgil on Wednesday accused Kalia of entering his residence in his absence even when he had orders to vacate the house till January 25. Moudgil also released a statement to the press saying that he had vacated the mayor’s house.
Kalia, who has been insisting that he be addressed as “nagar sevak”, appears to be in an unseemly haste to occupy his official residence in Sector 24 even though he refused to occupy Moudgil’s special red chair on the victory day. Within 48 hours of being elected as the mayor, he asked his staff to tell his predecessor that the house be vacated as “he had his mahurat on Monday to move into the official accommodation”.
A stumped Moudgil sought time till Wednesday to move out his belongings leaving Kalia fuming. On Wednesday, a miffed Moudgil issued a statement expressing his dismay at Kalia trespassing into his house on Tuesday night. “I am shocked to know that the Mayor, in my absence, without informing me and without my knowledge entered this house after getting the keys from the watchman around 7 pm on January 22 and went around the entire house. It would have been better if he had informed me about his intention to come to my house instead of getting the house opened in my absence. Anyhow, I wish to rest this issue here itself.”
He stated that it would have been better if the new mayor had got the ‘mahurat’ after knowing the facts. “I wish to state that I was never interested in retaining this house even for a minute beyond the authorised and sanctioned time. It would have been better if the Mayor had got the ‘mahurat’ of entering this house, after knowing the facts as mentioned above. However, in spite of the fact that I am authorised to remain in this house up to January 25, and despite the fact that it was raining on January 21 and 22, still with a view to allowing the new Mayor to go ahead with his mahurat plans on January 24, I have vacated the house today itself and handed over its keys to the Executive Engineer B and R, Municipal Corporation Chandigarh,” he specified in the release.
Moudgil also mentioned how Kalia never approached him directly about the house. “Interestingly, the new Mayor did not talk to me even once to ask when I am vacating the house,” he said, adding that it was only his PA who called him once on the phone on January 19.
Mayor Rajesh Kalia, when contacted, said he didn’t want to comment on this “petty politics”. Soon afterward, another BJP leader, who didn’t want to be named, sent pictures showing how the walls of the mayor’s house had been defaced. It seems some children had doodled on these walls. On Monday, Moudgil had claimed that the house was in a mess when he had first come to power and he had got it renovated.