Congress Friday blamed BJP Mayor Arun Sood for the city losing out on the smart city status. The Congress councillors alleged that the mayor did not strive for the tag and people should stop paying house tax, which was imposed only to fulfil the smart city criteria.
Congress even took a dig at MP Kirron Kher. “Kher can recommend the name of her husband to the government for Padma Bhushan but she couldn’t ensure a smart city tag for the city,” former mayor and Congress councillor Poonam Sharma told the media.
She added, “It is such a shame that their Prime Minister came to the city a few days ago and spoke a white lie to the residents. He even got the French President. Why did they make our city spend on them?”
Congress chief Pardeep Chhabra alleged that had the Mayor been interested, he would have ensured that the city made it to the list of the top 20 cities. “Isn’t it shameful that Ludhiana is in the race but not Chandigarh?” said Chhabra.
Poonam Sharma also stated that Chandigarh residents should not pay house tax now. “As house tax was imposed only to fulfil the smart city criteria, people should stop paying it. Had I been the Mayor, I would have personally approached the government in the matter and, if need be, protest as to why my city wasn’t selected despite being better than those who made the cut,” said Sharma.
On Friday, after the city had lost the smart city race, the mayor had said that the administration was responsible for getting the tag and he was just the “execution authority” if the city got the status. He also said that Swachh Bharat Abhiyan and providing basic amenities to residents were his priorities but the smart city project wasn’t.