Congress to boycott Chandigarh Rose Festival events

  • Hillary Victor, Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
  • Updated: Feb 19, 2016 13:09 IST

Continuing its protest against the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), the Congress has once again decided not to participate in the Chandigarh Rose Festival starting tomorrow. The three-day event which will be chaired by mayor Arun Sood or city member of Parliament Kirron Kher.

Chandigarh municipal corporation councillors belonging to the Congress, who held a meeting on Thursday said: “We have taken this decision as since past two months, BJP councillors have been showing arrogance both in the MC House and outside.”

Former mayor and Congress leader Subhash Chawla said: “It’s strange that they don’t allow us to speak in the House, but now they are talking of honouring us. We have decided to boycott the events at the Rose Festival. We do not want any award from the mayor and the MP as residents are our best award.”

Former Congress mayor Poonam Sharma said: “The BJP councillors don’t know how to behave with former mayors in the House. We will visit the Rose Festival as visitors and not as guests. If the BJP continues with its attitude, the Congress will not participate in any event chaired by the mayor or any BJP leader.”

Interacting with the media on Wednesday, mayor Arun Sood had said: “We will honour former mayors and present councillors at the Rose Festival.”

Ever since the BJP swept the mayoral polls, Congress councillors have been boycotting all functions organised by the MC where Arun Sood is in the chief guest. They also boycotted the lunch during the last MC meeting on January 29. Even congress councillor Subhash Chawla, who is also a member of the MC finance and contracts committee, boycotted the panel meet held on February 4.

When contacted, city mayor Arun Sood said: “We don’t know why are they protesting now. Moreover, it’s a prestigious festival of the city. As far as honouring former mayors is concerned, maximum mayors are from the Congress only. I have sent invitations personally and even called them. I think they have not digested their defeat in the mayoral elections.”

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