With mayor’s nomination of two councillors, including a Congress member, as Finance and Contract Committee (F&CC) members, a role reversal of political parties is being witnessed in House of the municipal corporation where the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is acting like an opposition and Congress has turned out to be a supporter of the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD).
Two councillors Jagbir Singh Sokhi of the SAD and Balkar Singh of the Congress were nominated by mayor Harcharan Singh Gohalwaria in place of the pending members of the committee on Wednesday. This had infuriated the BJP, which is an alliance partner of the SAD. Launching an attack on Gohalwaria, who is a SAD member, the BJP claimed that the “roots of the alliance have received a severe jolt” due to his decision.
Not only the councillors of the BJP, but even senior leaders of the district have pulled up their socks to take on SAD head in the coming days. Even state president of the party Kamal Sharma has been informed regarding the development. Two members of the F&CC were not inducted since the formation of the MC House in 2012.
Interestingly, main opposition in the MC House, the Congress as well as the SAD were criticising the BJP together for its stand on the issue of nomination of the members. The BJP claimed that the election should have taken place for induction of the F&CC members. While the Congress and the SAD claimed that the former is the second largest party in the MC with 18 councillors and deserved a member in the F&CC.
Senior councillor of the BJP Gurdeep Singh Neetu said the decision of the mayor to nominate the two members of the F&CC on his own was not in favour of “alliance dharma” and should be rolled back immediately. “The decision has brought a rift between the BJP and SAD in the Ludhiana MC. We have already put a writ petition in the Punjab and Haryana high court against the decision of Gohalwaria. The hearing for the same is on January 19,” said Neetu. Meanwhile, the Congress has come out against the BJP and stated that the party was raising a non-issue as it was the right of the Congress to get a member in the F&CC.
“While the BJP has the position of senior deputy mayor and deputy mayor in the MC, they do not want the main opposition Congress to even take a berth in the F&CC,” said member legislative assembly (MLA) of Congress Bharat Bhushan Ashu.
Meanwhile, Gohalwaria said this was unfortunate that the BJP was criticising its own alliance partner SAD. “The BJP already has its two councillors at the position of deputy mayor and senior deputy mayor. It was the SAD’s choice for the F&CC members and the party decided the names unanimously,” said Gohalwaria.
Controversy started when the BJP councillors claimed that MC secretary Hartej Singh sent approved proposal for induction of two members to the local bodies government without the approval of the BJP.