June 8, 2021 2:37:43 am
In a rare move, the Rajasthan government late on Sunday suspended the Mayor of Jaipur Municipal Corporation Greater, Somya Gurjar. The move comes after JMC-Greater commissioner Yagya Mitra Singhdeo was allegedly assaulted by three councillors on Friday in the presence of Gurjar.
A dispute had broken out between Singhdeo and Gurjar over alternate arrangements for garbage collection, as BVG, the firm tasked with garbage collection, was on strike.
Sunday’s suspension order, issued by local bodies director Deepak Nandi, states that the department had received a complaint accusing Gurjar of verbally abusing Singhdeo, obstructing him in the discharge of his public duties, as well as abuse and assault on the commissioner by three councillors in her presence.
The order states that the complaint was investigated by a deputy director-level official who found Gurjar guilty under section 39 of the Rajasthan Municipalities Act, 2009. The section lists the grounds for removal of a member by the state government. Under the same section, the order states that a judicial inquiry has been ordered.
Gurjar, however, said the department issued a unilateral decision without hearing her side.
Councillors Ajay Singh Chauhan (39), Paras Kumar Jain (72) and Shanker Sharma (103) have also been suspended. The order does not specify the duration for which the four have been suspended.
“Since Dr Somya Gurjar is Mayor, JMC Greater, and is a councillor from ward 87, and the charges against her are serious, there is full possibility of the judicial investigation being influenced if she continues to be the Mayor,” the order reads, announcing “immediate suspension” of Gurjar as Mayor and councillor from ward 87.
“I had read that the road to truth is difficult, but now I am witnessing it too. But I won’t bow down and nor will I waver in my path towards the truth,” she said, stating that she had raised the issue of corruption and will continue to raise it.
BJP state president Satish Poonia said, “This is the first such decision in the history of the state. Congress does politics of rancor, and it is the first time that an elected lady Mayor has been insulted like this. Emergency was imposed in the month of June and the decline of Congress started. The suspension of Jaipur Greater Mayor is unfortunate and it will be the reason for the party’s fall in Rajasthan.”
On Monday, the government appointed BJP councillor former Mayor Sheel Dhabhai as the interim Mayor for JMC Greater. According to the order, the Mayor’s post of JMC Greater is reserved for an OBC (woman) and hence Dhabhai was chosen, going by her “seniority, experience and the majority of the party”.
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