The general house of the Ludhiana Municipal Corporation which met,most probably for the last time,saw ruling Shiromani Akali Dal getting opposition from new quarters: BJP.
Not only allies BJP and SAD were seen differing on various issues but also SAD councillors themselves raised their voice against their party and sat on protest. The councillors also raised their voice against wrong timing of the meeting which started at 3.30 pm,giving no time for zero hour and a detailed discussion on the agenda.
Congress leader of opposition Hemraj Aggarwal said that no doubt the wedding of the mayors daughter scheduled for December 9 is very important but then the meeting should have been called after the wedding to discuss all in detail. However,the House decided to go with the agenda discussion and zero hour in a short time.
SAD councillor protests
Even before the beginning of the House meet,SAD councillor Tanveer Singh Dhaliwal,supported by Congress leader of opposition Hemraj Aggarwal and other Congressmen like Pal Singh Grewal,Balkar Singh and SAD councillor Paramjit Kaur Shivalik,sat on protest against the state government order barring the shifting of the Ludhiana Improvement Trust (LIT) colonies to LMC.
With this order,colonies like Shaheed Bhagat Singh Nagar,Rajguru Nagar,Rishi Nagar and others are now neither under the purview of LIT nor MC.
Reacting to Dhaliwals opposition against the government orders,the mayor announced that MC Commissioner Rahul Tewari would soon demand a clarification on the issue from the government,and funds and development works sanctioned for these colonies would not be stopped and work would continue like before.
New advertising policy draws flak
Opposing the new outdoor advertising policy which has been prepared by the MCs newly hired ad consultants Mudra Advertising BJP councillor Gurdeep Singh Neetu at the end of the meeting started raising slogans against the mayor and SAD for not presenting a detailed policy in the House. He was supported by Hemraj Aggarwal and other Congress councillors like Rakesh Prashar,Gurpreet Singh Gogi and others who alleged that the policy prepared was full of loopholes. They suspected a bungling of around Rs 200 crore as policy states granting of a tender for 15 long years to three contractors only. Who has seen 15 years? First talk about coming five years. We are completely against this policy, Prashar told Newsline. Despite repeated opposition of the Congress and BJP,Mayor Harcharan Singh Gohalwaria declared the policy passed in the House.
Black flag shown to mayor
While at the beginning of the meeting Independent councillor S S Chahal apologised for his behaviour in the last meeting (misbehaviour with the mayor) and was allowed to sit in the meeting,Varinder Sehgal,Congress councillor from ward number 3,showed a black flag to the mayor for not granting funds of Rs 1 crore for his ward as promised. All outer wards have got works done worth Rs 1 crore but not my ward, said Sehgal,wearing a black band and showing a black flag to the mayor. Why this stepmotherly treatment?
Bhola-Dhillon spat echoes in house
Like the previous meeting held in August,this time too Independent councillor Daljit Singh Grewal from ward number 8 demanded the House to pass a resolution that the FIR against him should be cancelled. He had clashed with SAD MLA Ranjit Singh Dhillon and also spent a few days in jail. He alleged that despite the mayor promising cancellation of the FIR against him,nothing had been done. However,the mayor completely denied any such promise and said that it was a complete legal matter and the House could not take any decision on it. We will call a meeting soon to solve issues between both, the mayor asserted.
F&CC election postponed
Despite the demand of Congress councillor Rakesh Prashar to immediately elect two councillor members to Finance and Contractual Committee (F&CC),which is hanging fire due to a lack of consensus in political parties,the mayor again postponed the matter and said a separate meeting in December would be called for it.
Extension of MC limits,hike in licence fee put off
While all other points on the agenda were passed by the House,extension of MC limits with inclusion of 49 more villages was not passed and deferred after opposition from the House. MLA Darshan Singh Shivalik in 2009 proposed extension of MC limits with inclusion of 49 villages which was opposed in the House by the Congress,BJP and even SAD councillors in unison. There is no money for existing areas and they talk of extending limits, said BJP councillor Inder Aggarwal. Another agenda item of increase in trade licence fee was not passed which also said that licences for storage of tobacco,pan masala,meat and other such items would not be issued from now on.