The board meeting of the Dehradun Municipal Corporation (DMC) — which was expected to take up many crucial civic issues — remained largely disrupted, thanks to a major hullabaloo between rival political camps.
While the opposition Congress party corporators walked out of the meeting hall alleging high handedness of the Bharatiya Janata Party leadership, the saffron party corporators in turn sat in protest in front of the chairperson’s stage to protest against the Congress corporators’ behavior.
The mood for the political tussle was set right at the beginning of the board meeting when mayor Vinod Chamoli interrupted Kanwali corporator Rajesh Singh Pundir from speaking during the proceedings.
The Congress corporators then immediately stepped forward and began protesting against the mayor, shouting aggressive slogans of “tanashahi nahin chalegi” (we won’t allow dictatorship to reign).
The political tussle eventually subsided only to resurface repeatedly over matters like irregularities in house tax rates and lack of action over encroachments among other issues.
However, the final straw came after a discussion over the ‘rights’ of 14 corporators nominated by the Congress-led state government snowballed into a major slugfest between the Congress and BJP corporators.
Citing recent incidents, Bakralwala ward corporator (of Congress) Bijendra Pal Singh said all the corporators — whether elected or nominated — should be “treated with equal dignity” by the DMC authorities.
The matter then deviated to the leader of the opposition on which mayor Chamoli said there was no such provision in the Municipal Corporation Act.
Taking offense, the Congress corporators began shouting slogans against the mayor and walked out of the meeting deciding to boycott the proceedings.
The BJP corporators, on the other hand, alleged that the Congress corporators were “breaking the decorum” of the DMC.
“It is unfortunate that they are seeking a political opportunity, even putting the civic issues on the backburner,” said Sushil Gupta and Amita Singh, corporators of wards Lakhibagh and Mohitnagar respectively.