In what could prove to be an embarrassment for the ruling party Shiromani Akali Dal, its Mansa municipal councillors (MCs) exchanged blows on Friday after meeting deputy chief minister Sukhbir Badal at his residence in Badal village.
Last week about 21 councillors, most of them from Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD), led by Narottam Singh Chahal, had rebelled against the council president and Akali leader Balwinder Kaka and demanded a a no-confidence motion against him.
The Shiromani Akali Dal councillors were called for a meeting with deputy chief minister Sukhbir Badal to resolve the dispute but it ended up with both the factions exchanging blows.
Mandeep Gora, councillor of ward 21 said, “We met the deputy chief minister and told him about all the wrongdoings of the council president Kaka. The deputy chief minister heard our grievances and directed DIG Bathinda zone Ranbir Khattra to probe the whole issue.
‘‘The moment we came out of the meeting room a henchmen of Kaka attacked one of our councillor Gurmail Singh and in the scuffle his turban fell off. Even I got hurt when I intervened to pacify them,” he said.
He further said that the deputy CM has asked the DIG to register an FIR against Kaka. Meanwhile the council president has denied the allegations of his supporters attacking the councillors of his rival group.
“We attended the meeting, however the deputy CM was unmoved by whatever was narrated to him by the other group.
‘‘ This is just a political stunt of other councillors to dethrone me and gain sympathy. I don’t know the attackers nor do they have any allegiance with me.”
Kaka further alleged that the councillors have rebelled only because the state government was about to dole out grants worth crore for the developmental work and they are all eyeing on it.
“The deputy chief minister was conveyed the real intention of the rebel councillors and even he told that the grant might be channelised through other departments like Bathinda Development Authority (BDA) or PWD.”
Speaking to HT, DIG Ranbir Khattra, however, tried to downplay the whole incident and termed it a ‘‘small commotion’’.
SHO Gurpreet Singh Bains said that Gurmail Singh, the councillor who was allegedly attacked upon, has recorded his statement against council president Kaka and the case was being investigated.
“No FIR has been registered yet and we are investigating the case based on the statement of Gurmail Singh.”
Though both the factions are claiming to have won the confidence of deputy chief minister, the issue of whether Balwinder Kaka would be dethroned, still remains unresolved.