Ambala DC favoured BJP in forming panel on MC ward delimitation: Cong

Ashok Kumar Sharma, who has been accused of not giving due representation to the Congress and other opposition parties in the committee, has refuted the charges.
Congress workers at the Ambala DC’s office.(HT Photo)
Congress workers at the Ambala DC’s office.(HT Photo)
Updated on Aug 10, 2020 11:21 PM IST
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Hindustan Times, Ambala | ByBhavey Nagpal, Ambala

The Haryana Congress has levelled allegations of misconduct in the constitution of an ad hoc committee for the delimitation (wardbandi) of wards in the Ambala city municipal corporation, following which a party delegation led by treasurer Rohit Jain met deputy commissioner Ashok Kumar Sharma on Monday.

Sharma, who has been accused of favouring the BJP in setting up the committee, which allegedly did not give due representation to the Congress and other opposition parties, has refuted the charges.

All rules have been followed, he has said.

Handing over a memorandum to the DC at his office, the Congress members requested him to stop the delimitation process and set up another panel following mandatory protocols with other party members of the dissolved MC.

Haryana Congress treasurer Rohit Jain (in cap) meeting DC Ashok Kumar Sharma (extreme right) in his office. (HT Photo)
Haryana Congress treasurer Rohit Jain (in cap) meeting DC Ashok Kumar Sharma (extreme right) in his office. (HT Photo)

‘Five members out of four in panel have links to BJP’

Rohit Jain, who is also the Ambala Bar president, said, “The rules say that the committee has to comprise five members belonging to various interests/groups out of the sitting members of the corporation or out of the members of the dissolved municipality. But the present committee is illegal as out of five members, four have links to the BJP and one has been a nominated corporator. This happened despite Congress being in majority in the last municipal body that was dissolved in 2018. Interestingly, only one out of those included as the members is a corporator of the last body (2013-18) and most others don’t have any link to the MC, which is also against the rules.”

Jain alleged that the aim of the existing committee was to deprive the strong prospective candidates of Congress and other opposition parties a right to contest in the upcoming MC elections and to divide the pre-existing wards in such a manner as to give an edge to the prospective candidates of the BJP.

Commenting on the matter, Haryana Congress president and ex-MP from Ambala, Kumari Selja, who has also emailed a letter to the DC, said “This is a clear case of bias towards the ruling party... no representation has been given to any opposition party, including the Congress. All the members in the committee are from the BJP and this could have happened only at the behest of the government.”

‘Rules have been followed’

In his defence, Sharma, however, said all rules had been followed and “representation has been given to every group.”

According to the names forwarded by the MC, “we have given proper representation to every group in the committee. We have to include a representative from women, reserved castes and others, and this was done. The process is in the draft stage, even if there is any objection from anyone, 10 days will be given to file it,” Sharma added.

On being asked about the political links of the members, he said, “We have no issues with any party and while constituting the committee we don’t check which party the member is from.”

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Saturday, January 22, 2022