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Confusion leads to protest by sweepers, sewermen outside Mamta Ashu’s house

Mamta Ashu is the wife of former minister Bharat Bhushan Ashu, currently lodged in Patiala jail in an alleged corruption case.

Congress MLA Bharat Bhushan Ashu and his wife Mamta Ashu. (Express photo by Gurmeet Singh)

A group of safai karamcharis, sweepers and sewermen protested outside the residence of Mamta Ashu, a Congress councillor, in Ludhiana on Wednesday.

Mamta Ashu is the wife of former minister Bharat Bhushan Ashu, currently lodged in Patiala jail in an alleged corruption case.

The protest happened a day after the Ludhiana Municipal Corporation in its general house meeting cleared a list of 3,542 contractual sweepers and sewermen for regularisation. Heated arguments were exchanged between Mamta Ashu and AAP MLA Gurpreet Gogi over the list.

Earlier in June, a row had erupted over the list after it was alleged that names of dead and long absent employees were included in it. An inquiry was ordered by MC commissioner Shena Aggarwal following which 88 names found to be dead and long absent have been removed and 3,542 names have been cleared.

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On Wednesday, the protesters alleged that Mamta Ashu opposed the proposal to regularise the safai karamcharis and sewermen. However, she clarified that she never opposed any such proposal but only asked for action against those officials who were responsible for discrepancies in the earlier list.

When protesters were raising slogans against Mamta Ashu and moving ahead towards her residence, Mayor Balkar Singh Sandhu made efforts to pacify them. The protesters had planned to dump garbage outside her residence, but after the mayor’s intervention, they decided against it.

Sandhu said he made them understand that Mamta had not opposed the resolution to regularise the contractual workers. In fact, she had only sought action against the officials responsible for discrepancies in the previous list.

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The mayor said, “Due to some confusion, some people had gathered to mark the protest today. When they were made aware of the fact that Mamta Ashu had not opposed the regularisation of contractual workers, they then raised slogans in her favor and ended the protest.”

Mamta Ashu said, “The names of dead persons or those who left jobs were added in the previous list that’s why I demanded that action should be taken against the officials responsible for it. Had there been no verification, it would have been a huge scam.”

During the house meeting on Tuesday, while Ashu had sought action against the officials responsible for discrepancies in the previous list, MLA Gogi had accused her of opposing the resolution to regularise the jobs of contractual workers.

First published on: 06-10-2022 at 10:00:17 am
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