Updated: April 1, 2021 3:58:59 am
THE VADODARA unit of the BJP, which won 69 of the 76 seats in the Vadodara Municipal Corporation (VMC) in the polls conducted on February 21, has decided to deny the post of the Opposition leader to the Congress that won seven seats.
In a first since the inception of the VMC, a ruling party has voted against allowing an opposition leader taking a cue from Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s decision to not allow an Opposition leader in the Lok Sabha.
The Congress, meanwhile, said the BJP’s move shows that the party is “afraid” of the opposition despite winning with a clear majority.
In a statement, BJP city unit chief Dr Vijay Shah said on Wednesday, “The people of Vadodara have given a clear mandate to the BJP in the civic body elections. Until today, the Congress has been getting the post of the Opposition Leader but it is extremely important to have the acceptance of the people to get this post. This time, the Congress party has lost the trust of the people and therefore it has even failed in its bid to claim the post of Opposition Leader, as the Congress has won only seven seats and does not even have the numbers to elect its own leader. Therefore, in a meeting of the BJP, it has been decided that the ruling party will not concede a post of the Opposition leader to the Congress.”
Shah added that although the post of the Opposition leader plays an important role in the functioning of the democracy, Congress has been involved in “corrupt practices that have come to light in the recent years in the VMC”.
Shah said, “The Congress first pretends to participate in the protests by people over issues. Later, it joins the people who they were opposing. Like Prime Minister Narendra Modi has respected the provision of a party having at least 10 per cent of the membership of the house, the BJP in Vadodara will also follow the same principle and not allow Congress to have the post of the Opposition Leader.”
Vadodara City Congress President Prashant Patel said the BJP’s decision shows that the party is “afraid” despite winning with a clear majority.
Patel said, “Even after gaining power and the people’s majority vote, the BJP is afraid of the opposition. If it is their decision not to give the post of opposition leader, then they should also not extend facilities such as vehicles and perks to any other elected members except the Mayor of the city. The Deputy Mayor or the chairman of the Standing Committee are the servants of the people as per the provisions and do not require special treatment.”
Patel questioned the BJP’s transparent governance policy and said, “Also, if they are pursuing a policy of transparent governance, why aren’t they opposing the post of the Opposition leader in the city? What is that fear? This
decision of the party at the state level has exposed their conspiracy about trying to eliminate the opposition.”
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