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HindustanTimes Sun,20 Apr 2014

Ruling alliance councillors form NGO to raise public issues

Sanjeev Bhalla  Jalandhar, November 23, 2013
First Published: 21:15 IST(23/11/2013) | Last Updated: 21:19 IST(23/11/2013)

By launching a drive for public welfare under the umbrella of an NGO founded by a BJP councillor Ram Gopal Gupta, the BJP and Shiromani Akali Dal councillors have opened a fourth power group in the MC. Choosing of NGO by the ruling alliance councillors to raise the issues of public welfare instead of the House has again put the functioning of mayor in question.

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A section of Congress councillors have already formed a separate group, dynamic group of councillors, to fight for issues related to public welfare, instead of putting across their concerns through Jagdish Raja, the leader of opposition in the House.

The functioning of mayor, especially his autocratic manner in decision-making, has annoyed many councillors in the past and this year, for the first time, a meeting of finance and contracts committee was postponed thrice due to lack of quorum.

Senior deputy mayor and SAD councillor Kamaljeet Singh Bhatia had also written a letter to commissioner municipal corporation on 'irregularities' in the civic body, besides openly attacking mayor on several occasions.

The meeting of newly formed NGO, Bharti Jagriti Manch, was attended by 16 councillors from the ruling alliance, including Bhatia and BJP councillor Ravi Mahindru, who was a contender for the post of mayor and was also sidelined by the party for the post of district president, after keeping his election in abeyance for over a year.

"We have formed this NGO to raise issues of public welfare," Gupta said while talking to HT.
"Yesterday, under the umbrella of the NGO, we met deputy commissioner of police demanding improvement in policing. We also demanded a designated place for protests so that common public doesn't suffer due to agitations," he added.

Gupta also cleared his vision about setting up the NGO and kept mum over the irregularities in MC. "We all are aware about what is happening in MC. We would definitely turn our focus on bettering the conditions. Right now, we are focussing on the social issues. Our next drive would be against private hospitals who had been looting the common public with expensive treatment," he said.

"In the next meeting, we are expecting to add more members in our group and our count could reach 20," Gupta said.

However, Bhatia when contacted said, "There is no harm in raising issues through NGO. Our MLA Pargat Singh had discussed the issues raised by me with party chief Sukhbir Singh Badal and he had assured to resolve all the issues after Delhi polls. Till then, I would restrain to comment in public on mayor. But I would definitely stand by the issues raised by me through the 3-page letter sent to commissioner, MC".

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