The presence of Harpreet Singh Bedi, the "husband" of councillor of ward number 57 Veera Bedi, in a meeting convened by municipal corporation on Thursday has brought the working of the local government department under scanner.
The meeting was convened in the Zone D office of the municipal corporation to discuss the distribution of the trash cans to the city residents by the AtoZ company.
In addition to Ludhiana mayor Harcharan Singh Gohalwaria, the meetings was attended by MC commissioner Shruti Singh, additional commissioner Sumeet Jarangal, joint commissioner Amarjeet Singh Sekhon and councillor Tanveer Singh Dhaliwal. Interestingly, Harpreet Bedi was also present with the mayor and other MC officials during the distribution of trash cans to city residents.
The presence of Veera Bedi's husband in an official meeting puts a question mark on the tall claims made by the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) for having given equal status to women in the party.
At the same time, looking at the past record of Harpreet Bedi wherein he had been found guilty of violating laws more than once, yet manages to have a 'say' in the working of MC, has invited the ire of NGO Ludhiana Mahasabha. "We will ask the mayor and MC commissioner to explain under what capacity was Harpreet Bedi allowed to sit in such an important meeting," stated Lt Col Jagdish Singh Brar (retd), the president of Ludhiana Mahasabha.
It is noteworthy that following a complaint made by Mahasabha, Punjab and Haryana high court had ordered the district administration to demolish the godown owned by Harpreet Bedi which was illegally constructed on the government land. The godown was demolished in December 2012.
Meanwhile, following Veera Bedi's alleged involvement in encroaching upon the MC land in connivance with her husband , Ludhiana Mahasabha had filed a writ in Punjab and Haryana high court, Chandigarh, in July 2013 for the cancellation of her councillorship.
The duo had allegedly encroached upon 350 sq yrds plot in Sunet village under Khasra number 105 and had got a sale deed registered in the name of Veera Bedi and her mother Surjit Kaur on 29/11/1996. The said plot was shown as being purchased from Jaswinder Singh of Bhatta Dhua village.
As per the information procured by Ludhiana Mahasabha from the land revenue record of 1991-92 , there is no plot in the name of Jaswinder Singh. Interestingly, in the jamabandi of the year 2006-07, there is no mention of Veera Bedi and her mother Surjit Kaur of having any plot in Khasra number 105 in Sunet village.
On being asked about presence of Harpreet Bedi in the meeting, mayor Harcharan Singh Gohalwaria said that he was there as a city resident and not as a substitute of his councillor wife Veera Bedi. However, he refused to comment on the encroachments done by Harpreet Bedi and subsequent action.