After remaining vacant for nearly two years, the posts of president and vice-president of Lehragaga municipal council would finally be filled soon. Though civic body elections are due by the middle of the year, the district administration is all set to hold elections to fill the top posts of the civic body as per the orders of the Punjab and Haryana high court.
Deputy commissioner Kumar Rahul said, “The court had directed us to conduct elections for the said posts by April, but we are making arrangements to hold the elections in the last week of March.” The high court had directed the district administration to conduct elections for the two posts at the earliest, while taking up a petition filed by Congress councillors. Owing to the political rivalry between Congress and SAD-BJP councillors, the post of president has been lying vacant for the past one-and-half years, while the chair of senior vice-president was vacant for nearly four years.
In the 13-member House, seven councillors are from SAD-BJP combine, while six are from the Congress. Attempts in the past to fill the posts had failed. Previous president Shivji Ram Koharia of the SAD was dethroned on July 29, 2011, while senior vice-president Balwinder Kaur had been removed from the post on July 21, 2009.
Development has come to a grinding halt
Lehragaga, the hometown and constituency of former chief minister Rajinder Kaur Bhattal, has become a picture of neglect with developmental projects coming to a grinding halt for the past several years. Despite the availability of adequate funds, no major developmental project had been initiated and condition of the roads and other civic amenities had deteriorated.
Though the district administration had constituted a five-member development committee in 2011 under the chairmanship of the sub-divisional magistrate, it was bogged down due to lack of consensus in the House. The House has not met for the past two years. Even the post of executive officer has been lying vacant for the past several years.