Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) councillor Satish Kainth, who was elected on Congress ticket in December 2011 and was Chandigarh deputy mayor for two consecutive terms, is controversy’s favourite child.
Kainth switched loyalties to the BJP in 2015 citing “ideological differences” with the Congress. Residents of ward 20 comprising Sector 29, Industrial Area Phase-1, Sanjay Colony and Colony No 4 which he represents in the municipal corporation House accuse him of ignoring their areas.
Son of a tailor, he first contested the MC election in 2006 from ward 23 comprising Ramdarbar, Hallomajra and Faidan village against BJP candidate Ram Lal and lost.
Kainth claims to have carried out several developmental works, but core issues of the ward remain unresolved. The long-pending demand of residents for a dispensary and e-sampark centre in Sector 29 were not met with, leaving them disgruntled. While sanitation is a major issue in Colony Number 4, Industrial Area and Sanjay Colony, he got the re-locatable toilets in the area fixed. Parking chaos tops the list of problems in Industrial Area, Phase 1.
An additional block was added to the dispensary in Phase 1 but it is yet to be inaugurated. Though he claims that green belts have been developed in Sector 29 their maintenance is far from satisfactory. Street lights are non functional in the ward due to recurring incidents of theft of devices.
Kainth, who joined the Congress in 1990, was in jail for three months for allegedly grabbing land of a widow but managed to settle the issue by using what his rivals call “money power”. He, however, claims to be a victim of political rivalry in the land grab case.
He was booked in March on the complaint of Bimla Devi, a widow hailing from Faridabad, alleging that he had illegally occupied her five-marla plot in Hallomajra. He surrendered in June after remaining on the run for months.
The first-time councillor, who has had several brushes with the law and has remained embroiled in controversies one after another, is considered close to city mayor Arun Sood.
He has been involved in cases that involved assault, rioting, locking a chief engineer in his room, pelting the Manimajra police station with stones, taking up fights with the district education officer and registration and licensing authority officer.
“I come from a very humble background. It was unfortunate that I got involved in controversies,” says Kainth, adding that he started working for the Dalit community in the nineties by setting up a youth federation.
“I joined politics to give the Dalit community a voice,” says Kainth, himself a Dalit.
He also was among the councillors whose honorarium was cut for taking along their family members on a study tour to Chennai, Kolkata and Port Blair in 2014.
He along with seven persons booked for rioting and attempt to murder after they allegedly pelted police with stones at Colony Number 4, leaving assistant superintendent of police (ASP East) Parvinder Singh injured among others.
The incident took place after residents were agitated when police failed to trace a four-year-old girl who had gone missing in April 2015. She was later found raped and murdered.
In February 2015, two residents of Hallomajra village had accused Kainth and his brother-in-law of assaulting them. The matter came to an end after Kainth offered his apology.
Tomorrow: Ward 21 Heera Negi (BJP)