WITH LOK Sabha elections around the corner, it was BJP versus BJP in the general house with councillors of the saffron party blaming each other for Chandigarh’s poor showing in the Swachh Survekshan ranking in which Chandigarh fell from No. 3 to 20.
The angry councillors of the two warring camps got so carried away that they started casting aspersions on each other, forcing Additional Commissioner Anil Garg to call it a violation of the model code of conduct. The House meeting, he said, cannot be used as a platform to discuss political issues.
It began when BJP councillor Arun Sood told the House that on the morning of March 6, a councillor had told a vernacular daily that Chandigarh will secure the first rank. But after the results, the same councillor blamed some other colleagues in the House for the city’s poor ranking. Sood’s jibe was aimed at none other than former mayor Davesh Moudgil.
“It is really unfortunate that some people have politicised the entire ranking by saying that two-three councillors had provoked the sanitation workers to go on strike. The fact is that the sitting mayor was not able to control the strike,” Sood said.
On this, Moudgil furiously got up and retorted, “Who are you to question me? Commissioner can directly ask questions from me if he wants to. It was my press note; I still stand by my words and will give 50 more such press notes.’’
Moudgil then told Kalia, “You are not the mayor of a community.but of the city.and you could have easily got the strike called off but you didn’t…”
Kalia then lost his cool and yelled, “Baith ja.” Taking offence, Moudgil slammed, “Baith ja kya hota hai..baith jao bolo..”
Other councillors, including Raj Bala Malik, Anil Dubey and Heera Negi, rallied to his support and blamed Sood for unnecessarily raking up a controversy.
Looking at Kalia, Raj Bala Malik said, “Jab hum meeting karte the toh haath jor jor ke… humne banaya hai.”
Kalia got infuriated, “Banaya hai se kya matlab hai.hain. Kaisi bate kar rahi hai.”
When the BJP councillors continued to bicker, opposition councillor Ravinder Kaur blamed the city’s deteriorating condition on the infighting in the party. ‘’There is no need for the opposition to attend the House if no one is going to listen to their viewpoint.’’
Seeing the situation spiralling out of control, Additional Commissioner Anil Garg warned the councillors that by indulging in political blamegame, they are violating the model code of conduct. Following this, the meeting ended. More reports, page 3