MLA Dhillon-councillor Bhola clash rocks MC general house meeting

Mayor ‘condemns’ the incident but refrains from passing a resolution

Written by Goyal Divya | Ludhiana | Published: August 3, 2013 12:03:06 am

The second general house meeting of the Ludhiana Municipal Corporation held at headquarters Zone A on Friday was rocked by the recent clash between MLA Ranjit Singh Dhillon from SAD and Independent councillor Daljit Singh Grewal. The councillors,cutting across party lines,asked Mayor Harcharan Singh Gohalwaria why the MC took no action when the councillor was sent to jail.

Bhola along with another councillor Gurpreet Singh Gora were sent to jail after a clash on June 24 with Dhillon over inauguration of a road project in New Shakti Nagar. SAD MLA Simarjit Singh Bains,going against his party MLA,supported Bhola at that time.

At the house meeting,the issue,when raised by Independent councillor Randhir Singh Sibia,was openly supported by Congress leader of opposition Hemraj Aggarwal,who asked for an explanation from the Mayor as to why the MC did not support Bhola and to clarify who would have the right to preside over the inauguration ceremonies — MLAs or councillors.

The councillors also pressured the mayor to pass a resolution in the House that the police would be asked to cancel all cases registered against Bhola and other councillors but the mayor did not succumb to the pressure and said that further action would be taken only after the commissioner submitted an inquiry report.

The mayor had an interesting reply to councillors’ question on non-support to Bhola at that time and said that he was not even aware of the issue.

“Inauguration rules are not made on anyone’s home. The person who works has the right to preside over inauguration. No one told me about it. No one approached me with any case. Had I been told at that time,I should have negotiated with the police. I request all House members to inform me in future if any such incident happens,” said the mayor.

When the superintendent engineer of the area was asked as to who rightfully initiated the work of the road project,he said that the councillor deserved the rightful credit.

The session turned stormy after the mayor refused to pass a resolution on cancellation of police cases on Bhola and other councillors. Bhola himself came forward and started shouting at the mayor,asking him why he was not supported at the time of crisis.

“We worked and were beaten black and blue but the police which were ruled by your party (SAD) did not register a cross case. Why?” asked Bhola.

Dharmesh Dhaliwal,another councillor,pointed the finger at Ludhiana MP Manish Tewari for giving funds for a tubewell to which the Congress reacted and said that the MP had all the right to give money for his constituency.

Congress MLA Bharat Bhushan Ashoo,however,said,“MLAs are not untouchables and we too are a part of the same House. We should mutually respect each other and now we need to see that such incidents do not happen in future.”

On repeated calls of councillors,the mayor finally said the ‘House condemns the incident’ and asked the secretary to ‘prepare a report on the recommendations to be sent to police on the issue’.

Re-inquiry ordered into Kitchlu Nagar cave-in

Congress councillor Balkar Singh demanded a re-inquiry into the road cave-in of Kitchlu Nagar which was passed by the mayor. The mayor,however,said “more than councillors,SDOs and officials of area are responsible to see that companies are not allowed to dig the roads without permission”. On being asked about the delay in Lakkhar bridge project whose one side was to be started by July 31,MC commissioner R K Verma said work got delayed from the side of railways due to untimely rain and it would take one and a half month and would be started by September 15 hopefully.

‘Mayor needs to respect councillors’

Congress councillors on Friday slammed the mayor for coming into their areas without informing them and then leading works which had been pending for long. Congress councillor Gurpreet Gogi said,“Mayor sahib,you came to my area and did not even inform me. People ask me where I was when you came. If it is about mutual respect then you too should respect us and please don’t interfere in work of tehbazaari.”

Similarly,Rakesh Prashar,said,“You visited my ward three times and did not even tell me once. The patchwork of road which I had been insisting on for so many days was not done and as you reached,the work started. Does that mean we have no respect?” The mayor replied,“I am not required to inform anyone when I visit for religious or personal works. However,in case of development,councillors will be consulted.”

Passes issued for family members

Unlike previous meeting in March when an uproar was created when relatives of councillors attended the meeting without permission,the Ludhiana MC made their entry permissible by issuing special passes. Those seen enjoying the advantage were Sandeep Bhalla,husband of Deepika Bhalla; Prithpal Ghayal,father-in-law of Amanpreet Ghayal; Tarsem Bhinder,husband of Kuldeep Kaur Bhinder; son of Sushma Mehta and husband of Monika Sharma.

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