Unruly scenes were witnessed in the Chandigarh municipal Corporation meeting on Thursday as councillors owing allegiance to the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Congress manhandled each other.
Former mayors Pardeep Chhabra, Subhash Chawla and BJP councillor Davesh Moudgil allegedly pushed each other for showing banners in the House to protest the imposition of the house tax. It was for the first time in the MC’s history that the elected representatives resorted to indecorous behaviour in the House. Following unruly scenes, mayor Poonam Sharma was forced to adjourn the House.
The meeting, which was held to discuss 18 development agendas, including approving the citizen charter, got over in just 30 minutes. Even the minutes of the last month’s meeting were not approved. Former mayor Pardeep Chhabra blamed the UT administration and the BJP for the imposition of the house tax in the city. He said: “It is now clear that the house tax has been imposed at the BJP’s behest as it remained silent over the issue.” Turning the heat on the Congress, the BJP members said it was the Congress which imposed the house tax in 2013.
The melee started around 11:30 am when the Congress councillors were raising slogans and showing banners in the House opposing the imposition of the tax. BJP councillors Saurabh Joshi and Davesh Moudgil tried to tear the banners to which the Congress members resisted. Blaming the Congress for the ruckus, former deputy mayor Davesh Moudgil said: “It was all pre-planned as the Congress does not want development in the city. Rs 1.5 lakh spent on the meeting should be recovered from the Congress.”
A few Congress supporters also gathered outside the MC’s assembly hall and raised slogans against the BJP.
Some important items listed in the agenda, including framing of a policy for allotting 112 booths at Mauli Jagran and 40 booths under new bridge, Sector 17, were not discussed. The House also failed to discuss implementation of citizen charter in the MC, management of MC functions through geographic information system (GIS), advertisement of 646 vacant posts of safai karamcharis and upgrade of communication system in fire department.
A new low was witnessed when BJP councillor Saurabh Joshi came with a beer can at the House meeting. The councillor wanted to bring home his point against serving of liquor at community centres during functions June 25, 2014: Former Congress councillors Satish Kainth and Darshan Garg and their supporters locked MC chief engineer Mukesh Anand and other officials in his room for nearly 30 minutes and raised slogans against him for not carrying out development works in their respective areas.