Political rivalry being the only apparent reason for barring the entry of independent councillors in a room of municipal corporation’s (MC) Zone-C office on Monday has opened a can of worms.
The group of councillors, including Parminder Singh Soma, Ranjit Singh Ubhi, Swarandeep Singh Chahal and others allied to Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) rebel legislators Simarjit Singh Bains and his brother Balwinder Singh Bains, alleged that the “uncalled for act” was the result of Bains brothers courage to have challenged the supremacy of SAD president and deputy chief minister Sukhbir Singh Badal.
As the councillors on Monday came to conduct the sangat darshan in Zone-C office where they had been conducting public meetings for more than a decade, they found the room locked, following which councillors, including Soma, Ubhi, Chahal and others conducted the meeting in the open.
While speaking to Hindustan Times, MLA Simarjit Singh Bains claimed, “As a councillor, even mayor Harcharan Singh Gohalwaria had used this specific room to address the problems of people. Is it his elevation to the post of mayor that has changed the relevance of this room?”
“Most importantly, when the former mayor Hakam Singh Giaspura had locked the room, the present mayor in his capacity as a councillor had opposed the action and had also sat on protest dharna with us,” Bains added.
Bains also accused a close aide of the current mayor of swindling people in the name of sangat darshan every Tuesday.
A peep into the past
It was in 2003 when SK Sharma was the MC commissioner and Nahar Singh Gill of Congress was the city mayor, when Simarjit Singh Bains, an independent councillor, renovated the room at Zone C office to use it for public meetings.
This led to furore in the MC House meeting wherein both Congress and SAD-BJP councillors accused him of having taken “illegal possession” of the room.
However, when the mayor and commissioner visited the Zone-C office and looked at the “improved” room, both were impressed to see that Bains had spent from his pocket and not from MC funds. Since then, nobody interrupted the public meetings, until the Bains brothers rebelled against SAD two years ago.
Despite repeated attempts, mayor Harcharan Singh Gohalwaria was not available for comments.