HT Spotlight | UT’s ward 3 councillor: Once mayor, now mayor-baiter | punjab$chandigarh | Hindustan Times
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HT Spotlight | UT’s ward 3 councillor: Once mayor, now mayor-baiter

Pardeep Chhabra does not hesitate from using words like ‘badtameez’ (ill-mannered) and ‘dictator’ against the mayor, BJP’s Arun Sood. The anger probably stems from the fact that a non-Congress leader holds the top post for the first time in 18 years.

punjab Updated: Oct 08, 2016 12:26 IST
Hillary Victor
People exercising in an open-air gym at Shanti Kunj, Sector 16
People exercising in an open-air gym at Shanti Kunj, Sector 16(Keshav Singh/HT Photo)

Pardeep Chhabra does not hesitate from using words like ‘badtameez’ (ill-mannered) and ‘dictator’ against the mayor, BJP’s Arun Sood. The anger probably stems from the fact that a non-Congress leader holds the top post for the first time in 18 years. The 55-year-old former mayor even ordered his party councillors not to attend functions of the mayor. Sood was elected in a wrongful manner, Chhabra insists.

In his own constituency — ward 3, comprising Sectors 16, 17 and 22 — Chhabra did not allow the mayor to inaugurate an open-air gymnasium in April, and did the honours himself a day before the scheduled event.

Representing ward 3 since 2001, he was mayor for the one-year term in 2008. Now in the opposition, Chhabra has not only been disrupting House meetings by shouting and levelling allegations against the BJP leaders, but he has not even spared nominated councillors as they had voted against the Congress in the annual mayoral polls.

Chhabra, president of the Chandigarh Congress unit and close to former MP Pawan Kumar Bansal, is credited with opening the city’s first open-air gym in Shanti Kunj, Sector 16; besides getting laser fountains installed in Sector 17 and some fancy lights in the markets.

But one the major failures of Chhabra has been the parking problem. He has also not been able to tackle encroachments in the markets of Sectors 17 and 22, though licensing process for them is now on under a central law.

Vendors selling their wares from encroached space in Sector 22, Chandigarh. (Keshav Singh/HT Photo)

He earned favour from traders when he backed their protest against closure of two older parking lots in Sector 17 after the opening of a multi-level basement parking. The agitation forced the mayor to review his decision and open the two parking lots with restricted timings.

The former mayor remained a fiery orator, some say even a rabble-rouser, but never failed to raise any possible issue that could nail the ruling dispensation.

TOMORROW: ASHA JASWAL, WARD 4