A day after calling the house meeting a ‘black day’ in the history of Jalandhar municipal corporation and murder of democracy in the hands of mayor Sunil Jyoti, senior deputy mayor Kamaljit Singh Bhatia on Wednesday called Jyoti “non-cooperative, undemocratic and a dictator”.
Meanwhile, the mayor termed the absence of Bhatia and opposition councillors from the meeting as ‘irresponsible and sad’.
This fresh salvo is likely to further strain the relations between the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in the state.
Taking a dig at Bhatia, the mayor said it was sad that the deputy mayor didn’t attend the house meeting. “He never came to meet me at the time when the union workers were staging a dharna. It is also sad that the deputy mayor of the city didn’t attend the house meeting.” he said.
Bhatia on the other hand held Jyoti responsible for the delay in the meeting due to the dharna. Bhatia said the democracy was also about facing the opposition and be answerable to them. “Why will I boycott the house meeting? I am a member of the ruling alliance party. The mayor can hold the meeting at his place if he is not concerned about the views of others. He is non-cooperative, undemocratic and a dictator,” said Bhatia. Possibility of hidden agenda Bhatia said there was a possibility that the dhar na by the union workers before the house meeting might be a hidden agenda of Jyoti for avoiding the discussion on various issues affecting the city.
The statement was made on the lines of the house meeting held on February 1, which was boycotted by the opposition Congress councillors and also by the senior deputy mayor. A group some of the Congress councillors had even demanded to dissolve the MC house.
It must be mentioned that the cold war between the mayor and the senior deputy mayor had reached chief minister Parkash Singh Badal, sometimes ago, who had then asked senior Akali leader Seva Singh Sekhwan to submit him a report on the corruption in the building branch of the municipal corporation, which was raised by Bhatia.