Jammu Municipal Corporation Mayor Chander Mohan Gupta and Deputy Mayor Purnima Sharma, both BJP members, resigned Saturday at a councillors’ meeting where senior party leaders were present.
Sources said resentment had been brewing among corporators over the alleged lack of development works in their respective wards.
The resignations came a day ahead of BJP national general secretary Tarun Chugh’s visit to the city to attend a meeting of party corporators who will elect a new mayor and deputy mayor. Chugh is also in charge of BJP’s affairs in J&K.
Both the mayor and deputy mayor had assumed office in 2018 after the BJP won 43 of the 75 wards in the Jammu Municipal Corporation. The next election to the civic body is scheduled to be held in 2023.
The two officials resigned at a two-hour luncheon meeting called to discuss a change in the offices of mayor and deputy mayor at a private club here. BJP’s J&K unit chief Ravinder Raina, who was present at the meeting, said both Gupta and Sharma offered their resignations.
The development comes after BJP councillors in the party-dominated Kathua and Udhampur Municipal Councils voted against nominees of their own party.
On September 10, the BJP had lost the race to the office of president in Kathua Municipal Council to an independent after a number of its own councillors voted against its nominee. The office of president had fallen vacant following the resignation of Naresh Sharma, a BJP leader, over allegations that he had spoken against party high command.
Similarly, a number of BJP councillors had on September 22 voted for a no-confidence motion against Udhampur Municipal Council president Dr Jogeshwar Kumar Gupta, ignoring party directions to the contrary.
Of the total 21 members in the Council, all except Congress’ lone member participated in the voting process. Of them, while one vote was found invalid, 11 votes were cast in favour of the motion and only eight against it.
Going by the outcome of the votes polled, the Chief Executive Officer of the Udhampur Municipal Council even announced passage of the no confidence motion against the president. However, soon thereafter, he put on hold the removal proceedings against the president in view of J&K High Court’s direction to hold the result.
Sources said that BJP councillor were under pressure from their electors in view of public resentment over suspension of development works at local level in their respective wards.