Jalandhar mayor faces party ire for ‘bankruptcy’ dig at his predecessor

  • Ravinder Vasudeva, Hindustan Times, Jalandhar
  • Updated: Jun 23, 2015 23:10 IST

City mayor Sunil Jyoti’s claim at an event on Sunday that his predecessor had left the civic body bankrupt has created a flutter in political circles, with Jyoti coming under fire from different sections of his party BJP, its coalition partner Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) and the opposition Congress.

At a function organised to inaugurate the newly repaired Nehru Garden on Sunday, the mayor in a presentation claimed how his predecessor Rakesh Rathore, who belonged to his own party, had left the civic body bankrupt and when he (Jyoti) took the charge its annual budget deficit was Rs 50 crore.

Former minister Manorjan Kalia has mocked Jyoti’s statement on Facebook, bringing the differences within the party wide in the open. Former mayor Rakesh Rathore on Tuesday also termed the statement as “unfortunate”.

“I don’t want to get into this controversy. Whatever little I have to say is that leaders should avoid giving such statements. Whatever I have done for the city during my tenure is before the public. I hope the mayor made this statement inadvertently. As far as the city’s development is concerned, people know everything,” said Rathore, when asked for his comment on this.

Senior deputy mayor and SAD leader Kamaljeet Bhatia, who was also Rathore’s deputy, termed Jyoti a dictator.

“Just to take credit for the work done at Nehru Park, the mayor has tried to undermine the work done during the previous tenure. The fact is that by taking the credit of developing Nehru Park, Jyoti is trying to cover up his failures and the woes city residents have faced in last three years,” said Bhatia.

“Since I have worked with Rathore as well there was no comparison between the two. The present mayor is a dictator whereas Rathore was a real leader who believed in building consensus,” he said.

The controversy has also reached the party high command. District BJP chief Subhash Sood has briefed the state party chief Kamal Sharma, who was also in the city on Tuesday, about this.

“My duty is to inform party seniors on the issue and I have already done that. Any party leader, be a former minister or others, should avoid going to the public on party issues. As far as Jyoti’s statement is concerned, one should not say negative things about others to get mileage,” said Sood.

Kalia pointed out that there was no mention of the CM and his deputy in the presentation.

Kalia’s post on Facebook

“Credit goes to Sunil Jyoti for completing the Nehru Garden project which was conceived and initiated during the previous term of BJP-SAD government in 2007-2012. It is sad that the presentation did not mention that `100 crore cheque was given by chief minister Badal to the MC when I was holding the local government department. Unfortunately, the mayor failed to recognise all the developments made during 2007-2012.”

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