The deadlock between traders and the municipal corporation over the closure of two prime parking lots in Sector 17 entered its fourth day on Friday with traders forming a human chain at the Plaza carrying a black band. Members of Business Promotion Council, Sector 17, have also announced that they will boycott a May-16 presentation that the MC commissioner is scheduled to make on the development of Sector 17.
“We are not against the development of Sector 17, but let the MC construct all four proposed multilevel parkings in Sector 17, then close the old lots,” said Neeraj Bajaj, president, Business Promotion Council, Sector 17. He added, “No one who cheats us can hope to become a mayor or councillor again. If our demand is not met, we will intensify our protest.”
Dhawan says mayor has cheated traders
The issue has led to the widening of the rift within the BJP. On Friday, former MP and senior party leader Harmohan Dhawan said, “The mayor has cheated the traders. In spite of offering assurances to the contrary, he closed the lots and acted in a dictatorial manner. He has dented the BJP’s image.”
On a query that the mayor has maintained that the decision to close the lots was approved in a House meeting, Dhawan claimed, “It seems only the mayor is educated and the rest are uneducated.”
Issue taking political colour
With the issue cropping up a mere six months before elections to constitute a new MC House in 2017, political parties are trying how to draw maximum political mileage.
The Congress, which is supporting the traders, plans to start a chain hunger strike. On Friday, members of Chandigarh Youth Congress held a protest in Sector 17 by wearing masks of traders. Of the 15 BJP councillors in the House, eight are supporting traders. The Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) has claimed that it would remove barricades to the closed lots, if the decision was not revoked within two days.
Local BJP leaders meet Chandigarh in-charge
Local leaders of the BJP apprised Chandigarh BJP in-charge Prabhat Jha of the alleged anti-party activities by Harmohan Dhawan in a meeting at party office in Sector 33.
He is reported to have told the leaders that it was an issue related to the UT administration and the party should not get involved.