Councillor’s report card: Spiritual healer Gurcharan Das Kala could not heal his ward
A spiritual healer, he kept shifting base from one party to another and has changed three political parties in the last 20 years. The only independent councillor in the municipal corporation, Gurcharan Das Kala failed to solve parking and sanitation problems in his ward but was proactive in the House to get work done in his area.punjab Updated: Oct 31, 2016 15:13 IST
A spiritual healer, he kept shifting base from one party to another and has changed three political parties in the last 20 years. The only independent councillor in the municipal corporation, Gurcharan Das Kala failed to solve parking and sanitation problems in his ward but was proactive in the House to get work done in his area.
Dressed up in traditional kurta pyjama with hennaed hands supporting huge rings, the councillor is spiritually inclined and is a well-known astrologer. The three-time councillor got a playground facility, gymnasium in the community centre, multiplay systems in parks of the Modern Housing Complex in Manimajra and concrete roads in old Manimajra. The councillor was active in the House to highlight the problems of his ward and also took part in debates pertaining to other wards.
Health problems galore
However, the residents claim that the poor sanitary conditions, especially filthy drains, in front of markets are causing health problems.
The garbage becomes a proper breeding ground for mosquitoes and flies and as a result people in old Manimajra and Mohalla Govindpura are falling ill.
The road inside the Mori Gate Market is always chock-a-block with vehicles belonging to traders and shoppers who park on the road leaving little space for other vehicles to pass. To add to the chaos, buses and trucks also take the same route.
Party to no one
Kala has switched parties thrice, from Janata Party to Congress to Bharatiya Janata Party. Kala won the first MC elections in 1996 as an independent candidate and then joined Congress in 1998.
He remained the senior vice president of the Chandigarh unit of the Congress but was removed just before the MC elections in 2001. He contested as an independent candidate again in 2001, only to lose.
After that Kala joined BJP and managed to win the MC elections in 2006. In 2011, just before the elections, Kala fell out of favour with the BJP leadership and did not get the ticket.
Kala contested as an independent candidate again and made it as a councillor. He contested the last MC elections in 2011 as an independent candidate after the BJP denied him a ticket.
Kala says, “My father was a staunch Congress supporter and we grew up strong political activity around us.”
He adds, “I have worked closely with former prime minister and president of Janata Party Chandra Shekhar and former PM VP Singh.” A close aide of veteran BJP leader Harmohan Dhawan, Kala has been active in politics for the last 40 years. He also remained director the Chandigarh State Co-operative Bank.
A father to three sons, the councillor has another side to his personality. He holds spiritual ‘darbars’ and is deeply influenced by saints and sadhus who visit his house regularly. He has jewellery stores in Manimajra. The three-time councillor has always been straightforward and put forth his point in the House without any qualms, be it against the corporation or any political party.