The opposition Congress will take full advantage of the differences between the BJP and its alliance partner, the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD), to embarrass mayor Bakshi Ram Arora over the garbage dump issue, in the meeting of the 65-member House of Amritsar municipal corporation scheduled for Monday.
The Congress councillors will seek a concrete answer from the mayor on the issue as differences between the SAD and BJP over the garbage dumping site, has stalled lifting of garbage from the streets and bazaars. Heaps of filth dot the streets and lanes of the city as the SAD and the BJP councillors grapple with each other on the issue.
"We want a concrete answer from the mayor. We will not allow him to pass the buck onto someone else. Not just the mayor, the local bodies minister Anil Joshi also needs to clear the air on this issue as he belongs to the city," said Congress councillor Raj Kanwalpreet Pal Singh Lucky while
talking to the media here on Sunday.
Lucky said that the citizens were suffering due to differences between the BJP and SAD on the garbage dumping site. "While the Akalis do not want the garbage to be dumped at the Bhagtawala dump, the BJP has objected to the garbage being thrown around Fatahpur," he pointed out.
"Both Joshi and the mayor were quick to pick up the broom for Prime Minister Narendra Modi's 'Swachh Abhiyan' but developed cold feet when it came to resolving the garbage issue. The two are squarely responsible for the filth that is littering our streets," he said.
"Around 1 lakh people visit the city each day and you can well imagine what impression of the holy city these visitors may be carrying back home," he added.
FISCAL CONDITION OF MC
Lucky said that they would also seek answer from the mayor about the fiscal health of the MCA. "At a time when the MC cannot pay monthly salaries to its existing employees, a decision has been taken for recruiting more employees on contract basis for the fire wing of the MCA," he said.
"We will also like to know from the mayor how he proposes to complete the ongoing projects given the poor fiscal health of the corporation. It will be best not to talk about development with the mayor as there is no money in the MC coffers," the Congress leader added.
Lucky claimed that most of the centrally-sponsored projects that are currently being executed in the city were sanctioned during the tenure of the UPA government. Most of these projects are behind schedule as the MCA under the influence of the state government had diverted funds to other departments, leaving the corporation with no funds to complete the projects, he further claimed.
BJP VS AKALIS
The meeting of the House is also likely to witness a tussle between the BJP and the SAD councillors on the garbage dump issue.
This is evident as over the last month or so the Akali councilors, led by senior deputy mayor Avtar Singh Truckanwala, have been flexing their muscles against the mayor and his band of BJP followers.
The BJP has more or less relied on Joshi to take on the Akalis in this tussle that began after the Akalis objected to garbage being dumped at Bhagtanwala, the official dumping site, as the area falls in the Amritsar South constituency of chief parliamentary secretary (CPS) and SAD MLA Inderbir Singh Bolaria.
When the MCA began dumping garbage at Fatahpur, the BJP objected, as the area falls under Amritsar Central assembly segment whose incharge is national BJP secretary Tarun Chugh.