Chaos prevailed in the meeting of the general house of the municipal corporation (MC) here on Monday, with two alliance partners, the BJP and the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD), levelling accusations against each other, in a clear indication that the widening rift between the two parties has percolated down to the district level.
The bitterness came to the fore as soon as the House assembled for the meeting. The Akali councillors questioned the development agenda of the BJP and mayor Bakshi Ram Arora.
Things turned ugly when Akali Dal councillors, led by senior deputy mayor Avtar Singh Truckanwala, threw away the copies of the agenda and walked out of the House, saying that the mayor has "no sentiment" for the Akali Dal.
The SAD councilors claimed that they had demanded that the roads around the Golden Temple be laid down and other works needed there be done, but the mayor rejected their demands, saying that those works will be carried out only if the Punjab government gives funds for these.
Demanding resignation of mayor Arora, the SAD councillors rejected the agenda of the meeting and said that the mayor had failed on all major issues, including the cleanliness of the city.
However, this was not all. As soon as the SAD councilors walked out of the House, it was turn of the BJP to up the ante. Leaving all the items on the agenda aside, some BJP councillors raised the drug issue in the House to corner the Akali Dal.
"They are so worried about cleanliness, but what they have to say on the issue of drugs," said the BJP councillors
While the SAD councillors rejected the agenda of the House and said that all the proceedings were null and void, the BJP claimed that all the items listed in the agenda have been passed because there were 22 councillors present in the House.
Lashing out at the SAD, mayor Bakshi Ram Arora said, "Whatever the SAD has done during the meeting of the House is very unfortunate. They are forgetting that they are running the government in Punjab with the support of the BJP. As far as my resignation is concerned, it is for my party to decide."
When asked about the SAD charge that roads around the Golden Temple were ignored, the mayor said, "Deputy CM himself has told us to clear the agenda in the meeting of the House and that the Punjab government will give the required funds."
AKALI DAL HITS BACK, REJECTS HOUSE MEET
Hitting out at the mayor, SAD leader and senior deputy mayor Avtar Singh Truckanwala said, "The mayor has failed to get the key issues resolved and he is not even ready to lay down roads around the Golden Temple. This shows his sentiment for the Akali Dal. We want his resignation as he does not deserve to be in the chair."
SAD councillor Surinder Sultanwind said, "If the mayor is happy holding meetings with BJP councillors alone, he can do it at his residence next time. Look at the condition of the city, the BJP has no respect for even Prime Minister Modi's Swachh Bharat Abhiyaan' We can move a no-confidence motion against the mayor next time."
When asked to comment on the drug issue raised by the BJP in House, the SAD councillor said, "Our party chief Sukhbir Badal will be leading a protest against the drug menace on January 5."
CONGRESS STAGES STRONG PROTEST
After Congress councillor Raj Kanwalpreet Pal Singh Lucky came to the House with a broom and questioned the mayor on the garbage issue, many Youth Congress workers, led by Vikas Soni, raised slogans outside the MC House.
Vikas Soni, while talking to reporters, said, "The garbage scattered all over the city reflects of the so-called development by the SAD-BJP. We are here to stage protest and serve an ultimatum that if the MC fails to find a solution to the garbage issue by January 1, the Youth Congress will gherao the MC office from January 2."
Congress MLA and senior leader OP Soni also slammed the MC for failing to find a solution to the garbage issue and announced that the Congress would stage strong protests against MC from next week.