Unruly scenes were witnessed at the annual budget meeting of the Municipal Corporation of Jalandhar (MCJ) on Monday mayor Sunil Jyoti passed the Rs 552-crore budget for the coming session within five seconds without having any discussion with the opposition councillors.
As soon as the mayor entered the meeting hall, he asked some BJP councillors to pass the budget. He immediately left the venue after few of his concillors announced that the budget had been passed.
This annoyed the Congress members in the house and they questioned as how the mayor could pass the budget without any discussion in the meeting.
The protesting Congress members, led by leader of opposition in the MC house Jagdish Rai, threw the budget copies at the empty chair of mayor and later burnt the same outside the meeting hall.
Congress councillors Sushil Rinku, Harsimranjit Bunty and Bal Krishan Bali alleged that the mayor already had raised the issue of selling the properties amid fund crunch to get money last year.
“But the majority did not agree and he had to do away with the plan of selling properties. He had mentioned about Rs 50 crore to be raised from selling the properties this time again. He wants to pass this in a clandestine manner,” they alleged.
It was learnt that the Congress councillors had planned to corner the mayor over the issue of construction of roads.
“This is for the first time that the budget has passed in five seconds in a civic body. What is the role of councillors if all decisions have to be taken by the mayor only? He is afraid of debating certain issues for which he has no answers,” said Jagdish Rai.
The Congress councillors said they would move the Punjab and Haryana high court against the functioning of the Mayor and the municipal commissioner.
Even some BJP councillors, led by Krishan Kochar Minta, criticised the mayor for passing the budget in a hasty manner.
“What was the drama all about? What was the need to call councillors to the meeting if the mayor had to take the decision in such a manner? This is not democratic. The mayor is behaving like an autocrat,” Minta said.
The BJP councillor said he would not attend the meeting in future and would raise the issue at the party level.
When some mediapersons asked the mayor as why no discussion was held on the budget, he said, “I don’t need any suggestion from the media as how to pass the budget. We don’t need an affidavit from the Congress or the media whether the budget has been passed or not.”
Meanwhile, members of Punjab Safai Mazdoor Federation also created ruckus in the mayor’s office. They even tried to break the door of his office after the meeting.
The union members, led by Chandan Grewal, were opposing the setting up of solid waste management plant project.